The mother of Rudy Eugene, who was shot and killed by a police officer as he chewed the face off a homeless man in Miami, says her son was “a nice kid” who could have been subdued with a Taser rather than gunfire.
“He was a good kid. He gave me a nice card on Mother’s Day. Everyone says he was a zombie. He was no zombie. That was my son,” the mother, who asked that her name not be revealed, told CNN affliate WFOR.
Eugene, 31, was killed by a police officer on Saturday after an 18-minute attack on a homeless man, identified by police as 65-year-old Ronald Poppo. Video of the incident shows Eugene coming across Poppo on a sidewalk along Miami’s MacArthur Causeway, stripping clothes off him and eventually chewing on his face.
Police said Poppo lost 75% of his face in the attack. He was in critical condition at a Miami hospital.
Eugene’s mother said police didn’t need to shoot her son.
“They could have tased him,” she told WFOR. “I saw what happened on TV and I started crying.”
Eugene’s girlfriend, who also requested anonymity from WFOR, said the attacker seen in that video was nothing like the man she lived with.