Surveillance videos made public Friday show a man shoving an off-duty FBI agent so hard that both tumble over a wall and fall down an eight-foot drop, moments before police said the agent fatally shot the man during Wednesday’s evening commute at the Metro Center station.
Metro released the videos on Twitter and YouTube, showing the confrontation between the agent and 28-year-old Troy Bullock that occurred at the busy transfer hub in downtown Washington. The encounter, captured on Metro cameras on both sides of the platform, is seconds long.
The first of two videos posted shows about a dozen people mingling at one end of the platform for trains headed toward Glenmont. A commuter holding a bag can briefly be seen next to a pillar. A man — who officials have said is Bullock — takes a step toward that person. Another man, who officials have said is the agent, steps toward Bullock, his arm extended, as if to separate people.
A second video from a camera positioned on the opposite platform shows the agent confronting Bullock. It appears Bullock leans into the agent, who shoves him. A brief scuffle ensues, and Bullock then pushes the agent toward the wall, with both going over, as the train enters the station.
The train operator slows to a stop, and people who had been peering over the wall rush toward the doors. But the operator does not open the doors, instead accelerating toward the next stop. People then run toward escalators.
Metro hailed the operator, posting on Twitter on Friday: “Her decision to bypass the station kept many customers safe.”
D.C. police are leading the investigation and did not comment on Friday. The agent, who was treated for injuries described as not life-threatening, has not been identified. Police have described him a senior agent assigned to FBI headquarters.
Many questions remain about the incident, including what was happening when the agent chose to shoot Bullock. It also remains unclear what Bullock may have said or done to the other commuter, and if the agent and Bullock said anything to each other. D.C. police had not made the offense report public as of Friday.
On Thursday, before the video was released, Bullock’s mother, Danielle Bullock, 45, said she could not imagine what would have caused an FBI agent to shoot her son. “What was the purpose of shooting him?” she said. “It was for no reason.” She said Friday afternoon that she had not yet seen the video, and she could not be reached later in the day.
About 15 hours after the incident at Metro Center, another shooting at the Benning Road station in Northeast Washington left two teens and an adult wounded and brought new attention to violence on the transit system. Both that shooting and the one at Metro Center occurred during busy commute times. Metro General Manager Randy Clarke has said transit police have increased patrols at stations this fall.
Emily Davies contributed to this report.