2021 | Courts

UPDATED: FBI agent who shot man on Metro in Bethesda charged with attempted murder

Witness said there was a confrontation on a train

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This story was updated at 11:19 a.m. June 1, 2021, to add to a comment from the FBI and at 2 p.m. to add a comment from Valdivia’s attorney.

An FBI agent who shot a man on a Metro train in Bethesda almost six months ago has been charged with attempted murder.

The agent, Eduardo Valdivia, will appear for a bench warrant hearing in Montgomery County Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon, State’s Attorney’s Office spokesman Ramon Korionoff wrote in a text message to Bethesda Beat.

Valdivia shot a man on a red line Metro train Dec. 15 as it was approaching the Medical Center station in Bethesda. Police did not identify Valdivia at the time.

The man was taken to a hospital and treated for his injuries.

The FBI, Metro transit police and the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office investigated the shooting. But prior to Tuesday, authorities said very little about the circumstances of the shooting and had not identified Valdivia. Police have still not identified the victim.

A witness who was in the second car from the front of the train told a 911 dispatcher that the man, who was not wearing a face mask, confronted the agent, according to a recording of the call. The agent then responded “Move away. I’m an FBI agent. Back away,” the caller said.

The caller, who did not identify himself, said that after the man tried to fight the agent, the agent fired multiple shots.

Valdivia’s attorney, Robert Bonsib, wrote in a statement Tuesday morning that the FBI agent was justified in using force against the man, because he felt it was necessary to prevent a physical struggle. Valdivia was worried that the man would get Valdivia’s firearm, Bonsib wrote.  

Valdivia, 37, has been charged with one count each of attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, felony use of a firearm and reckless endangerment.

In response to questions from Bethesda Beat, the FBI released a statement saying that the agency was “aware of the recent charges brought by the Montgomery County, Maryland State’s Attorney’s Office involving an FBI Special Agent.”

“We are fully cooperating with the State’s Attorney’s Office on this matter. As is customary following a shooting incident, this matter will be subject to internal review,” the statement read. 

The Washington Post previously reported on the charges against Valdivia on Tuesday.

This story will be updated.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com