FBI agent charged in off-duty shooting of man on subway

·2 min read

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — An FBI agent has been charged with attempted murder in the off-duty shooting of another man on a Metro subway train last year in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., according to court records unsealed Tuesday.

The agent, Eduardo Valdivia, was scheduled to make his initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon in Montgomery County Circuit Court on charges including attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

The charges stem from a Dec. 15 shooting on a train near Medical Center Station in Bethesda. Police for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said in a Dec. 18 statement that the agent fired multiple shots after the man had approached him that morning and they exchanged words.

The statement said the wounded man was in stable condition less than a week after the shooting. It didn't elaborate on the nature of the “verbal exchange” between him and the agent just before the shooting.

Robert Bonsib, a lawyer for Valdivia, told The Associated Press on Tuesday on Tuesday that his client “has served his community in some very dangerous and sensitive assignments” for the past decades.

He said that on the morning of the shooting, Valdivia had been confronted by “a man who threatened his personal safety, and he acted reasonably in order to prevent himself from being killed.”

In a statement Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Baltimore field office said the bureau was aware of the charges and is fully cooperating with the investigation.

“As is customary following a shooting incident, this matter will be subject to internal review,” spokeswoman Joy Jiras said.

The Metro Transit Police Department said in December that it had reviewed video footage and taken statements from Metro employees, passengers and others.

In a 911 call released in January, a witness said the agent had warned the man to back away, but the man ignored the command and instead prepared to fight him, the Washington Post reported.

“The FBI agent said: ‘Move away. I’m an FBI agent. Back away,’ ” the 911 caller said. “The other gentleman didn’t, dropped his bag, approached him to fight him.”

The caller said the FBI agent was “attacked” by the other passenger but did not describe how.

The Medical Center station serves the National Institutes of Health and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Michael Kunzelman And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press