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May 26, 2012 — Miami

Rudy Eugene had been on South Beach for Memorial Day, joining in Urban Beach Week.

He abandoned his car and walked west along MacArthur Causeway, dropping his clothes as he went. Passersby reported a naked man swinging on a light pole.

When he reached Ronald Poppo, a 65-year-old homeless man napping on the causeway, Eugene jumped him, punched him and stripped off his clothes. Read more

Then the man who would become known as the "Miami Zombie" tore away most of Poppo's face with his teeth. The attack continued for about 18 minutes, until police were summoned by a 911 call about a beating.

Just before 2:15 p.m., Officer Jose F. Ramirez shot and killed Eugene after he refused to stop the attack. Despite initial speculation about bath salts, a toxicology report found only marijuana in his system. Poppo survived, disfigured and blinded.

This was the 52nd police shooting in Florida in 2012.

Three days earlier, three officers shot one person in Fort Pierce .

Two days later, one officer shot one person in Miami .

2 ways this case compares to others

  1. Eugene was among the 7 percent of people who appeared to be on drugs before being shot.
  2. Eugene showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.

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