An FBI agent faces an attempted murder charge for shooting a man during an altercation on a moving Metro train near Washington, D.C., last December, according to court records.
Eduardo Valdivia, 37, has been indicted on several charges, including attempting second-degree murder, first-degree assault, and reckless endangerment, in connection with the Dec. 15, 2020, encounter on the Metro Red Line train, according to newly unsealed records from Montgomery County Circuit Court. The incident landed the passenger in the hospital with several gunshot wounds, but he ultimately survived.
Jail records indicate Valdivia was booked into Montgomery County Detention Center Tuesday morning. Valdivia’s attorney did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment. The Washington Post first reported Valdivia’s arrest.
“The FBI is aware of the recent charges brought by the Montgomery County, Maryland State’s Attorney’s Office involving an FBI Special Agent, and we are fully cooperating with the State’s Attorney’s Office on this matter,” an FBI spokesperson told The Daily Beast.
The Metro Transit Police said the early morning incident began after a “verbal exchange” between the passenger and Valdivia. According to a 911 call by another passenger on the D.C. bound train, the maskless man “started hounding” Valdivia as the train approached the Medical Center Station in Bethesda.
“A gentleman came on the train at the Grosvenor train station and confronted the gentleman who was sitting on the train, got in his face,” the caller said in the call first obtained by the Post. “He didn’t have a mask.”
The caller added that Valdivia, who “was sitting in the second car by himself,” warned the passenger to back up, but the man instead made a motion suggesting he wanted to fight him.
“The FBI agent said, ‘Move away. I’m an FBI agent. Back away,’” the caller said. “The other gentleman didn’t [drop] his bag, approached him to fight him.”
The caller, who was not identified, then began to describe to dispatchers how the two “confronted each other” before Valdivia fired “two or three” rounds at the passenger just as the train pulled into the station. Valdivia then helped the wounded man to the platform at the Medical Center stop. The 911 caller stayed on the train, but other witnesses and the station manager phoned the authorities for help.
“There’s a FBI agent on the train, on the Red Line pulling into Medical Center who... fired shots on the Red Line train,” the caller told dispatchers, adding that the law enforcement officer “shot a person who attacked him.”
Authorities then transported the man Valdivia shot to a local hospital, where he was treated for gunshot wounds before he was ultimately released. Authorities have not indicated if the man was armed, and officials say he did not physically threaten Valdivia, according to The Washington Post.
In a December statement, the FBI insisted it “takes all shooting incidents involving our agents seriously” and that an internal investigation was launched into the incident per bureau protocol. “The review process is thorough and objective and is conducted as expeditiously as possible under the circumstances,” the FBI added.
Valdivia is expected to appear in court Tuesday afternoon before Judge Joan Ryon.