Argentine authorities have identified Fernando Sabag Montiel as a suspect who approached Fernandez de Kirchner with a loaded gun outside her home in Buenos Aires on Thursday in what appears to be a failed assassination attempt.
A police spokesman told CNN Sabag Montiel had a gun permit but was arrested in 2021 for carrying a large knife in public, adding that he has at least one Nazi tattoo.
Immigration officials said he was born in the Brazilian city of São Paulo on January 13, 1987 and has lived in Argentina since 1993.
Video of the incident shows Fernandez de Kirchner smiling as he walks past a large crowd of supporters. The man then rushes forward and points the gun at her face.
There were no bullets and the vice president was not injured, although the Argentine Ministry of Security later confirmed that there were bullets in the .380 caliber firearm used in the incident.
“Christina is still alive because – for some reason we cannot technically confirm at the moment – the weapon, armed with five bullets, did not fire even though the trigger was pulled,” Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said in a televised address. address Thursday evening.
The attack on Fernandez de Kirchner, who served as the country’s president from 2007 to 2015 and then took over as vice president in 2019, shocked the entire country and the entire region.
The leaders of Mexico, Cuba, Chile and Venezuela reacted with horror to the news and expressed their solidarity with Fernandez de Kirchner, while the President of Argentina declared Friday a national holiday so that the public could show their support.
Sabag Montiel’s girlfriend, who was interviewed live on Argentine national television after his arrest, said she, too, is struggling to understand what happened.
Sabag Montiel was a “good, hard-working man” who showed no signs of violence “in recent weeks,” according to his girlfriend, identified only by Ambar in the interview.
She said she last saw him on Wednesday and couldn’t understand “why he did what he did.”
“Honestly, I didn’t know about all this. [Sabag] didn’t give me any details,” Ambar said.
Sabag is currently in custody awaiting trial on charges of attempted murder and has been assigned a public defender, according to two judges.