Miami's 'growling cannibal' named as Rudy Eugene, 31

Miami police: "It was not only grotesque, it was just very sad, the amount of blood"

A man who was shot dead in Miami at the weekend after he was found biting the face off another naked man has been identified by police.

Rudy Eugene, 31, reportedly growled at a police officer after he was warned to back away.

A witness said the aggressor continued to eat the victim, before the officer opened fire several times, killing him.

The attack next to a busy road on Saturday afternoon has been linked to a potent drug known as "bath salts".

About 75% of the victim's face was reportedly missing.

'Nice man'

Cyclist Larry Vega said there was "blood all over the place" when he came across the horrific scene by MacArthur Causeway.

"I told him get off," Mr Vega told WSVN Fox 7. "The guy just kept eating the other guy away like ripping his skin."

Start Quote

He had his face eaten down to his goatee - the forehead was just bone - no nose, no mouth”

End Quote Armando Aguilar Miami's Fraternal Order of Police

He said he alerted a police officer, who warned the attacker several times to back away from the victim.

"The guy just stood his head up like that with a piece of flesh in his mouth and growled," Mr Vega said.

The victim, identified as a 65-year-old homeless man, Ronald Poppo, remained in a critical condition in hospital on Tuesday.

A Miami police spokesman said: "We are expecting a report from our detectives to give more details to the media. We are also looking for more witnesses to this crime."

Ives Eugene, Eugene's uncle, described his nephew as a "nice and hard-working" man who washed cars at a local dealership.

Miami police said they still do not know what prompted the bizarre and savage assault, which has been compared to a "zombie" attack.

Armando Aguilar, of Miami's Fraternal Order of Police, told the Associated Press: "He had his face eaten down to his goatee. The forehead was just bone. No nose, no mouth."

Mr Aguilar told a CNN affiliate he believed the suspect could have taken a type of drug known as "bath salts", citing four past overdoses in the Miami area where people had also removed their clothes and gone berserk.

"It causes them to go completely insane and become very violent," he said.

According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, users of the drug have reported experiencing agitation, paranoia, hallucinations and elevated body temperature.

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