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An FBI agent has been charged with attempted murder for the off-duty shooting of a man on a moving Washington D.C. subway last year, according to court records unsealed Tuesday.
Eduardo Valdivia, 37, was indicted on several charges, including first-degree assault and reckless endangerment in connection with the Dec. 15, 2020 incident on the Metro Red Line train.
He turned himself in to local authorities at a Montgomery County jail on Tuesday morning, and was later released with no bail following an initial court appearance.
Authorities say that the agent fired several shots after exchanging words with a man who approached him on a train near Medical Center Station in Bethesda.
Valdivia had been on his way to work on the morning of the shooting, when the man asked him for money. After the agent said no, the man muttered expletives while walking away, prosecutors said in court Tuesday.
“Watch your mouth,” Valdivia allegedly told the panhandler, who then turned around and came toward the agent.
Valdivia told the man to back up multiple times before shooting him from 2 to 3 feet away, according to prosecutors.
The passenger was hospitalized with several gunshot wounds but survived. He had part or all of his spleen, colon and pancreas removed during surgery after the shooting.
In a 911 call released in January, a witness said the agent had warned the man to back away. But the passenger ignored the command and instead squared up for a fight, according to The Washington Post, which first reported on the charges.
“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.”
Robert Bonsib, a lawyer for Valdivia, said the other passenger had “engaged in threatening and aggressive behavior” at close range.
“One does not wait to be physically attacked — one does not wait until the threat has ’hands on you — before one is authorized to defend oneself,” Bonsib said in a statement.
Valdivia joined the bureau in 2011 and “has had an impeccable personal and professional background,” his attorney said.
Bonsib also filed documents showing the wounded man had a lengthy criminal history, including a 2019 incident in which he allegedly attacked and threatened to kill somebody at a Metro station.
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.
With Post wires
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