It's been revealed the man who was shot dead by police while naked and eating the face of a homeless man knew his victim before the attack.
Rudy Eugene made worldwide headlines in May when he was shot dead by police on a Florida freeway after he refused to stop attacking the face of his victim, Ronald Poppo.In a revealing interview, Eugene's childhood friend Fredric Christian told the Miami Herald the pair had met Mr Poppo when they volunteered to help the homeless.
"Poppo seemed like a nice and kind man," Mr Christian told The Herald. "I remember when we gave him food."
The revelation comes as Eugene's friends and family say the man who was killed by police was not the same man they knew.
Eugene's mother described her son as an average young man who enjoyed football, action movies and fast cars.
But other friends say Eugene had a dark side that developed in recent years.
In 2004 police were called to Eugene's family home after he threatened to kill his mother.
It took three taser shots to calm him down before police could arrest him.
The incident was just one in a string of crimes including trespassing and drug possession across a five year period before 2009.
Despite his record, friends and family say they were shocked by the violent nature of Eugene's death.
He was found by police naked and growling, hunched over his victim's face tearing off chunks of his skin.
A single gunshot from a police officer wasn't enough to stop the attack, and the officer was forced to shoot Eugene dead.
Initial speculation that he had taken the synthetic drug known as 'bath salts' before the horrific attack have been proven untrue by toxicology tests.
Eugene's friends say he may have been suffering from depression before the attack.
"Rudy was fighting a demon that day and he lost," Mr Christian said.
A ripped up bible near the scene of the attack and Eugene’s Haitian religious heritage, along with bizarre religious Facebook posts, has added to speculation about his mental wellbeing.
Local members of the Haitian community reportedly think Eugene had been possessed by demons or that voodoo played a part in his death.
Four local churches turned Eugene's mother down when she wanted to give her son a proper Haitian burial.
"I felt so much frustration. I was angry," Ruth Charles told The Miami Herald. "They were members of my Haitian community. They turned their back on me."
A fifth church allowed Ms Charles to bury her son.
Ronald Poppo is still recovering from the attack; In June, pictures were released showing Mr Poppo awake and walking around as his long road to recovery began.A fund has been set up to help Mr Poppo get back on his feet.
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