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

This image provided by defense attorney Robert Bonsib of MarcusBonsib, LLC, shows FBI agent Eduardo Valdivia, who 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, according to court records unsealed Tuesday. Valdivia turned himself in to local authorities at a county jail Tuesday morning, according to Chief Deputy Maxwell Uy of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

ROCKVILLE, Md. — 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, made his initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon in Montgomery County Circuit Court on charges including attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

Valdivia, 37, turned himself in to local authorities at a county jail Tuesday morning, according to Chief Deputy Maxwell Uy of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. Valdivia appeared at bond review hearing on a video conference call from jail Tuesday afternoon and Judge Joan Ryon agreed to release him on personal recognizance. Prosecutors didn’t object.

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, said in a lengthy statement that his client “has had an impeccable personal and professional background.” He joined the bureau in 2011, and at the time of the shooting, was providing “operational guidance and programmatic oversight” of FBI investigations targeting racially motivated and anti-government extremists.

Valdivia was on his way to work on the morning of the shooting when he was confronted by a man who Bonsib said “engaged in threatening and aggressive behavior” at close range.

When the man asked Valdivia for money on the train, the agent said no and the man muttered expletives while walking away, Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Hill said during Tuesday’s hearing. Valdivia told the man, “Watch your mouth,” and the man turned around and approached Valdivia, who told him to back up multiple times. Valdivia shot the man from 2 to 3 feet away, Hill said, and did not identify himself as an agent until after the shooting. The man had part or all of his spleen, colon and pancreas removed during surgery after the shooting.

“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 wrote in his statement. “Neither does one need to retreat — when retreat is not possible — as was not possible here when Eddie Valdivia was seated at the end of the Metro car” with his back against the wall and “no clear exit path.”

Bonsib also signaled his plans to invoke in his client’s defense the background of the man who was shot in asserting that the shooting was justified. He attached documents showing a lengthy criminal history that he said matched the identity of the shooting victim, including arrests for prior sexual misconduct — such as exposing himself — as well as unprovoked physical attacks. Bonsib said court records indicate the wounded man has a history of unpredictable and violent behavior, including an 2019 incident in which the man allegedly attacked and threatened to kill somebody at a Metro station.

The indictment names the man who was shot and also a second man, who it identifies as the victim of the reckless endangerment charge.

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.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

(6) comments

artandarchitecture

There are many interesting dynamics to this case: an unarmed black man asks for handouts from a Hispanic FBI agent & then gets shot after a disagreeable verbal exchange. We'll see if the infamously-corrupt FBI wins this case.

PurplePickles aka L&M

Yeah we will see....but you know the law is seldom held accountable.... so l’m not expecting much? A civil lawsuit, that I’m expecting...

artandarchitecture

There was greater detail about this event in "FBI Predators Accused Of Grooming Kids, Shooting Civilians and Extorting Women In The Last Month Alone" by

Eric Striker, National Justice, 6/3/2021:

"A high-ranking FBI agent, Eduardo Valdivia, was arrested this week for Second Degree Attempted Murder.

Last December, Valdivia was riding the DC Metro when a man, Steven Slaughter, asked him if he could spare some change.

Valdivia then allegedly mocked the man by pretending to give him money but giving him a "fist bump" instead.

This angered Slaughter, who Valdivia claims began using expletives.

State Attorney John McCarthy says that Valdivia then barked "watch your mouth" at Slaughter. When the victim refused to comply, the off-duty Valdivia pulled out his service weapon and shot him in the middle of a train car with multiple passengers nearby. The shooter did not identify himself as law enforcement at the time.

Eyewitnesses held that Slaughter did not make physical contact with Valdivia, nor did he pose any immediate threat to him.

In 2020, Valdivia was promoted to the position of supervisory agent at a department of FBI headquarters that targets "domestic extremists," focusing primarily on adherents to political ideologies like white nationalism and members of libertarian militias.

Despite the fact that Valdivia is objectively a greater danger to the public than the people he tracks, the judge in his case released him without bail.

The investigation into the incident, which began immediately after the incident, has been characterized by local organizations as lacking transparency."

PurplePickles aka L&M

Toxic male masculinity plain and simple....law enforcement is a magnet for these types of toxic males. I wonder if the judge was a male too?

artandarchitecture

PurplePickles, there's NO such thing as being "too masculine", esp in a super-majority Democrat state. The FBI has been corrupt w/ scoundrels for a while.

PurplePickles aka L&M

I didn't say too masculine, I said toxic male masculinity...two very different things.Google it..well here you go Art:

What Is Toxic Masculinity? - Verywell Mind

Search domain verywellmind.comhttps://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-toxic-masculinity-5075107

Toxic masculinity refers to the notion that some people's idea of "manliness" perpetuates domination, homophobia, and aggression. This idea that men need to act tough and avoid showing all emotions can be harmful to their mental health and can have serious consequences for society, which is how it became known as "toxic masculinity."

I feel for you Art...you live in an odd world it seems...your sources for your info are highly questionable.

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