>> During this royal visit in 1981, a teenager tried to shoot Britain's Queen Elizabeth. For the first time on Thursday, New Zealand's spy agency confirmed the assassination attempt. It sparked an inquiry as to what exactly happened and why police tried to cover it up. According to declassified intelligence documents, then 17 year-old Christopher Lewis, targeted the Queen during her visit to the southern city of Dunedin and made his shot as she got out of a vehicle.
Reuters Jonathan Barrett, is following the story from Sydney.>> The man in question was apparently shooting from a poor vantage point and authorities believed he didn't have the fire power or the range to really pose a significant threat. Now, the man was well known to police, over a 20 year period there were multiple charges against him, that escalated into a murder charge.
He ultimately committed suicide in 1997 awaiting his murder trial.>> Members of the crowd heard the gunshot but were initially told by police that it was from a falling sign or a car backfiring. However, records show police kept a close eye on Lewis throughout the visit, fearing that he was still a risk.
>> Now, the suggestion is that the New Zealand police of the day wanted to downplay the signifigance of the threat. It would be an embarrassment if there was a threat on the Queen's life during a royal visit. Now, part of the allegation is that the place should have charged the man with attempted murder or treason, but instead they went for the lesser charges of unlawfully discharging a firearm and owning a firearm.
>> Police say the latest investigation will take some time, but the findings will be made public once the inquiry is complete.