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FBI agent arrested, accused of shooting man on D.C.-area train in off-duty incident

The confrontation unfolded on Dec. 15 in WMATA's Medical Center station in Montgomery County.

An FBI agent was arrested for attempted murder after shooting a fellow passenger last year aboard a Metro train in suburban Washington, D.C., according to an indictment unsealed on Tuesday.

The 37-year-old agent, Eduardo Valdivia, is facing charges of attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, use of a firearm in a violent crime and reckless endangerment from the Dec. 15 incident, a Montgomery County, Maryland, grand jury said.

In the attempted murder and assault charges, the indictment names the victim as Steven Slaughter. While in the reckless endangerment charge, Valdivia "created a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to Mario Grande," according to the indictment.

The agent, who lives in Gaithersburg, surrendered to Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday, jail records showed.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the bureau's Baltimore field office confirmed an agent's arrest in Montgomery County, Maryland, but declined further comment.

"The FBI is aware of the recent charges brought by the Montgomery County, Maryland State's Attorney's Office involving an FBI Special Agent, and we are fully cooperating with the State's Attorney's Office on this matter," the FBI said.

"As is customary following a shooting incident, this matter will be subject to internal review."

Gunfire erupted on Dec. 15 when an off-duty FBI agent and another man were aboard a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) train as it approached the Medical Center Station, the public transportation agency said.

"Following a verbal exchange, multiple shots were fired by the agent, striking the passenger," WMATA said at the time. "The gunshot victim and FBI agent both exited the train on the platform at Medical Center at approximately 6:41 a.m."

Valdiva's defense lawyer, Robert Bonsib, said his client acted in self-defense and would be vindicated.

Valdivia was on his way to work that morning when he was confronted by a man who “engaged in threatening and aggressive behavior,” according to Bonsib.

“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,” according to statement by Bonsib.

“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.”