FBI agent Eduardo Valdivia of Gaithersburg, Maryland was found not guilty on the charge of attempted murder for a 2020 shooting aboard a Metrorail train by a Montgomery County jury Friday.
Mr. Valdivia got into a verbal altercation with fellow passenger Steven Slaughter on Dec. 15, 2020, as Mr. Valdivia headed home from work on a Red Line train, near Medical Center at the time of the shooting.
Mr. Slaughter, a panhandler, exchanged words with Mr. Valdivia, which fueled the confrontation. Mr. Valdivia shot Mr. Slaughter twice, once in the arm and once in the abdomen, and Mr. Slaughter would go on to survive.
“You don’t get to shoot people for hurting your feelings. [Mr. Slaughter] never touched him. There was no immediate threat. This was not a reasonable response. [Mr. Valdivia] had options. He chose the most serious,” Assistant State’s Attorney John Lalos said at closing arguments Friday, according to NBC News 4.
The defense, led by attorney Robert Bonsib, argued that Mr. Valdivia acted in self-defense.
At closing arguments, Mr. Bonsib made the case to the jury, explaining that “There was no intent to kill. [Mr. Valdivia] had 15 rounds. He only used two. His intent was to protect himself,” according to NBC News 4.