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Prosecutors charge FBI agent in shooting of homeless panhandler on Metro train

A six-month investigation of a shooting by an FBI agent on a Red Line train leads to attempted murder and reckless endangerment charges in wounding of a panhandler.

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Montgomery County prosecutors charged an FBI agent in the December shooting and wounding of a homeless panhandler aboard a Red Line Metro train near the Medical Center station in Bethesda.

State's Attorney John McCarthy charged Eduardo Valdivia, 37, with attempted murder, first-degree assault, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and reckless endangerment. Prosecutors said there were other passengers in the southbound Red Line car who were endangered when Valdivia allegedly fired three shots in the incident on December 15, 2020.

Sources tell WUSA9 the alleged victim was hit three times, with all three rounds passing through his body. He was rushed to Suburban Hospital and survived.

Valdivia was arrested and processed at Montgomery County's Seven Locks Detention Center and is expected to go before a circuit court judge on a bench warrant at around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Investigators have held details of the alleged attack very closely since it happened, saying only that there was a verbal confrontation before the shooting.

The shooting was captured on surveillance video in the Metro car and prosecutors are likely to play that video in court, although it's not certain when.

In a 911 call released after a Freedom of Information Act request by the Washington Post, another passenger said the man approached the agent and the agent warned him to back off. Instead, the man, according to the caller, got ready to fight the agent. The caller said the agent told him, "Move away, I'm an FBI agent. Back away," and the agent fired "two or three rounds."

Sources called the shooting an overreaction to a homeless man with a history of aggressive panhandling.

RELATED: FBI agent-involved shooting on Red Line train caused delays near Medical Center Metrorail station

   

This is the second federal law enforcement officer Montgomery County prosecutors charged in the last two months with criminally shooting someone. In April, the county charged Pentagon police officer David Dixon with two counts of murder for allegedly shooting two people he thought were rifling through cars in the parking lot of his Takoma Park apartment complex.

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