Jury finds FBI agent not guilty of 2020 Metro shooting in Maryland

Eduardo Valdivia was found not guilty on all charges

A jury on Friday found a FBI agent not guilty in connection with the shooting of a Metro train passenger in 2020 near Bethesda, Md.

Eduardo Valdivia was riding a Red Line train near the Medical Center station on Dec. 15, 2020, when a man allegedly approached him and requested money.

Valdivia denied the ask and a confrontation ensued. The man allegedly muttered expletives as he turned away from the agent.

A video of the incident was released on Wednesday, showing Valdivia opening fire on the man from close range. The man stumbles and sits in a seat across from Valdivia while another passenger leaves the area. 

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A jury on Friday found a FBI agent not guilty in connection with the shooting of a Metro train passenger in 2020 near Bethesda, Md.

A jury on Friday found a FBI agent not guilty in connection with the shooting of a Metro train passenger in 2020 near Bethesda, Md. (AP)

Valdivia and the man appeared to exchange words before the agent reaches for his holster. As the two continue to speak, Valdivia pulls out his gun and shoots the man. 

The agent continued to point his firearm at the man, who stumbled and hunched over before taking a seat. Valdivia is still seen speaking and gesturing at the man. The other passenger then stands up and appears to make a phone call.

Valdivia then appears to talk to the third man and makes a hand signal for a phone as he speaks to him. 

The agent continues to hold the gun as he appears to address the two men. The train eventually comes to a stop and Valdivia heads for the exit, motioning for the man he shot to follow him. The man shot ultimately does follow Valdivia off the train, walking slowly and hunched over.

According to a 911 call released in 2021, another passenger told the operator that the third man approached Valdivia, who warned him to back off. 

Eduardo Valdivia was riding a Red Line train near the Medical Center station on Dec. 15, 2020, when a man allegedly approached him and requested money.

Eduardo Valdivia was riding a Red Line train near the Medical Center station on Dec. 15, 2020, when a man allegedly approached him and requested money. (FOX 5)

The caller said that the third man was ready to fight the agent. The caller said the agent told the man, "Move away, I'm an FBI agent. Back away," and that the agent fired two or three rounds.

Valdivia was charged with attempted murder in 2021 and turned himself in after he was indicted. He was also facing first-degree assault, firearm use/felony/violent crime and reckless endangerment charges.

After his indictment, a lawyer for Valdivia, Robert Bonsib, suggested the agent be given the benefit of the doubt given his law enforcement training and experience.

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A video of the incident was released on Wednesday, showing Valdivia opening fire on the man from close range.

A video of the incident was released on Wednesday, showing Valdivia opening fire on the man from close range. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

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"I think it’s important to remember that this is an agent who is used to working in dangerous and undercover capacities. He can see body language as it changes. He can feel danger as it approaches. He can feel the danger as it approaches," Bonsib said in a statement in 2021.

The verdict on Friday found Valdivia not guilty of all charges.

Brian O’Hare, President, FBI Agents Association, reacted to the not guilty verdict in a statement: "I am pleased that the jury found Supervisory Special Agent Valdivia not guilty on all charges. He and his family have had the FBIAA’s full support throughout this difficult 18-month legal process. FBI Special Agents place their lives on the line every day, and SSA Valdivia’s actions in this incident were an example of the difficult, split-second decisions that are required to protect the public and ourselves. As we have said from the beginning, this incident was a case of a law enforcement official performing his duties properly, and with integrity and professionalism."