37-year-old agent Eduardo Valdivia is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Tuesday afternoon in Montgomery County Circuit Court for charges that include 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. According to a statement from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the agent fired multiple shots after the man had approached him that morning and they exchanged words. The nature of the “verbal exchange” has not been revealed but the shooting left the man wounded and in stable condition.
A statement from Valdivia’s lawyer, Robert Bonsib, explains that Valdivia has been an impeccable agent since joining the FBI in 2011 and the shooting was the result of Valdivia trying to protect himself.
“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 while explaining that the victim “engaged in threatening and aggressive behavior.” “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,” he added.
To prove the victim’s alleged violent behavior, Bonsib is looking to highlight court records that indicate the wounded man has a history of unpredictable and violent behavior, including a 2019 incident in which the man allegedly attacked and threatened to kill somebody at a Metro station. A witness who called 911 also claimed that the agent was “attacked” by the victim.
A spokeswoman for the FBI’s Baltimore field office says that the bureau is fully aware of Valdivia’s situation and will cooperate with the investigation.
“As is customary following a shooting incident, this matter will be subject to internal review,” spokeswoman Joy Jiras said.