Ms de Kirchner was outside her home in Buenos Aires, greeting supporters gathered near her residence. Video footage captured at the scene shows a man appear in the crowd, and Ms de Kirchner ducking her head.
No shots were fired.
Current Argentine President, Alberto Fernandez, said in a national broadcast: “A man pointed a firearm at her head and pulled the trigger.”
However, he said the alleged gunman’s weapon did not discharge.
He added: “Cristina remains alive because, for a reason not yet technically confirmed, the gun, which contained five bullets, did not fire.”
Ms de Kirchner is in the middle of a corruption trial and was returning from court.
She denies the charges.
President Fernandez continued: “We can disagree, we can have deep disagreements, but hate speech cannot take place because it breeds violence and there is no chance of violence coexisting with democracy.”
He called the incident one of the “most serious” since Argentina restored a democratic regime in 1983.
Local media identified the alleged gunman as a 35-year-old Brazilian.
They have been taken into custody.
Security Minister Anibal Fernandez told a local outlet: “A person who was identified by those who were close to him who had a gun was detained by (the vice president’s) security personnel.”
Friday has been declared a national holiday by the Argentine leadership, with the president urging citizens to “express themselves in defence of life, democracy and in solidarity with our vice president”.
MORE TO FOLLOW…