In this image taken from video, Miami police officers stand watch near a naked man, second from right, who was shot dead by a police officer when he refused to stop chewing on the face of the naked man next to him, partially obscured by a railing, on the MacArthur Causeway ramp onto Northeast 13th Street in Miami, Saturday, May 26, 2012. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital. Police say neither man's identity is known. (AP Photo/The Miami Herald) MAGS OUT
Updated: May 29, 2012 8:51AM
MIAMI — Authorities in Miami are looking for more witnesses after a police officer fatally shot a naked man who refused to stop chewing on the face of another naked man — even after being shot once by the officer — on a busy downtown highway ramp.
Detective William Moreno said police are looking for people to fill in the blanks on what led to the grisly scene in which a witness reported that a man — identified by authorities as Rudy Eugene, 31 — savagely chewed on the other man’s face and growled when a police officer kept telling him to stop.
The victim, who has not been identified, has been hospitalized in critical condition.
“We know that there were many people on the MacArthur Causeway and we’re hoping they come forward,” Moreno told The Miami Herald on Monday.
Miami police have released few details about the weekend attack, other than confirming that there was a fatal officer-involved shooting. Messages left Tuesday by The Associated Press for a police spokesman and the Miami-Dade County medical examiner were not immediately returned.
Witness Larry Vega was riding his bicycle Saturday afternoon off the MacArthur Causeway that connects downtown Miami with Miami Beach when he saw the savage attack.
“The guy was, like, tearing him to pieces with his mouth, so I told him, ‘Get off!’” Vega told Miami television station WSVN (http://bit.ly/L6kwWt). “The guy just kept eating the other guy away, like, ripping his skin.”
Vega flagged down a Miami police officer, who he said repeatedly ordered the attacker to get off the victim. The attacker just picked his head up and growled at the officer, Vega said.
As the attack continued, Vega said the officer shot the attacker, who continued chewing the victim’s face. The officer fired again, killing the attacker.
A surveillance camera from The Miami Herald building nearby captured images of the men’s naked legs lying side by side after the shooting.
Vega said the victim appeared gravely injured.
“It was just a blob of blood,” Vega said. “You couldn’t really see, it was just blood all over the place.”
Vega declined to speak Tuesday with The Associated Press and said he was trying to put the attack behind him.