POSTED: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 6:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 6:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Miami Police are asking for more witnesses to come forward in the police shooting of a man who chewed another man's face on a pedestrian bridge over the weekend.
Authorities hope witnesses can fill in the blanks from the gruesome scene where a man, identified by authorities as Rudy Eugene, 31, savagely attacked the other man's face and refused to stop, forcing an officer to open fire.
Police say they encountered two men fighting, and an officer was forced to shoot one of the men, who was naked, when he refused to stop.
The unidentified victim was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition.
Armando Aguilar, president of Miami's Fraternal Order of Police, said the victim had up to 80 percent of his face mauled and said the suspect growled at the officer who responded to the scene.
"Seventy-five to 80 percent of his face was missing, and he was actually swallowing pieces of the man's face," Aguilar said. "He growled at him like a wild animal and kept eating at the man's face."
His wild behavior was symptomatic of excited delirium, Aguilar said.
The disorder is usually drug-related and can incite violence, unexpected strength and even hyperthermia.
Parts of the confrontation were caught by a surveillance camera from The Miami Herald building, which overlooks the crime scene.
Aguilar said the officer may have saved the victim's life by shooting the attacker before he could harm him further.
There's no doubt in my mind. The man would be dead right now," Aguilar said.