Rudy Eugene, 31, was killed by a Miami Police officer May 26 as he savagely attacked homeless resident Ronald Poppo on a busy MacArthur Causeway off-ramp, chewing off half of Poppo's face in broad daylight while traffic whizzed past.

The gruesome incident, caught on tape by security cameras at the nearby Miami Herald building, has made international headlines and stunned those who knew Eugene -- those who now struggle to understand how and why he committed such a violent crime.

Poppo, 65, faces a grueling recovery at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

SLIDESHOW CONTAINS GRAPHIC PHOTOS:

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  • Rudy Eugene

    Rudy Eugene poses for a picture in this undated photo. Eugene was shot to death by Miami police as he crouched over Ronald Poppo's limp body, naked and growling, chewing off chunks of the man's face. (Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)

  • Rudy Eugene

    A photo of Rudy Eugene as happy young toddler. Eugene was shot to death by Miami police as he crouched over Ronald Poppo's limp body, naked and growling, chewing off chunks of the man's face. (Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)

  • Rudy Eugene

    A photo of Rudy Eugene as happy young toddler. Eugene was shot to death by Miami police as he crouched over Ronald Poppo's limp body, naked and growling, chewing off chunks of the man's face. (Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)

  • Rudy Eugene

    A photo of Rudy Eugene as happy young toddler. Eugene was shot to death by Miami police as he crouched over Ronald Poppo's limp body, naked and growling, chewing off chunks of the man's face. (Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)

  • Ronald Poppo At Stuyvestant High

    Ronald Poppo <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/30/ronald-poppo-face-eating-victim-miami-stuyvesant-high-school_n_1556692.html?utm_hp_ref=rudy-eugene" target="_hplink">attended New York City's prestigious Stuyvesant High School</a> before becoming homeless and lost to his family for decades.

  • In a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/12/ronald-poppo-face-chewing_n_1590459.html" target="_hplink">photo released June 12</a>, Ronald Poppo walks with assistance at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

  • A photo <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/12/ronald-poppo-face-chewing_n_1590459.html" target="_hplink">released June 12 by Jackson Memorial Hospital</a> shows progress treating Ronald Poppo's horrific injuries.

  • A City of Miami police officer stands watch near the scene where a naked man, far right, was shot dead on the MacArthur Causeway ramp onto Northeast 13th Street in Miami on Saturday, May 26, 2012. A witness said the naked man continued to chew on the face of another naked man on a Miami highway ramp and growled when a police officer tried to stop him. The victim remained hospitalized Monday. (AP Photo/The Miami Herald, Marsha Halper) MAGS OUT

  • Crime Scene investigator Andres Betancourt photographs a credit card found at the scene belonging to Rudy Eugene, Tuesday, May 29, 2012 in Miami. Authorities were seeking more witnesses Tuesday to help explain what led Eugene, who was naked, to start chewing another naked man's face and whose only response when confronted by police was to growl and keep attacking - even after being shot by police Saturday. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

  • First responders treat Ronald Poppo after the attack.

  • This 2008 video shows Rudy Eugene in Miami-Dade bond court on charges of marijuana possession and marijuana possession with intent to distribute.

  • Rudy Eugene, undated photo

  • Ronald Poppo

  • Westbound traffic on the MacArthur Causeway, approaching the Northeast 13th Street ramp in Miami, is backed up Saturday May 26, 2012, after a police officer fatally shot a naked man on the ramp who was chewing on the face of another naked man. The victim remained hospitalized Monday. (AP Photo/The Miami Herald, Marsha Halper) MAGS OUT

  • Scene of attack

  • Rudy Eugene's Longtime Girlfriend

    Rikkia Cross cries as she talks about her relationship with Rudy Eugene.

  • Girlfriend Says Face-Chewing Attacker Was Religious

    A South Florida woman says she often read religious texts with a man who is accused of chewing off the face of a homeless man. Rudy Eugene was shot and killed by police. (June 6)

  • Gloria Allred, Yovonka Bryant

    Yovanka Bryant,left, and her lawyer, Gloria Allred, discuss a recent attack on a homeless man by Brant's boyfriend Rudy Eugene, during a news conference, Wednesday, June 6, 2012 in Miami. Bryant said she last heard from Eugene, the day before he chewed off the face of a homeless man alongside a Miami highway. A police officer shot and killed Eugene. The homeless man remains hospitalized. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Gloria Allred, Yovonka Bryant

    Yovanka Bryant, right, and her lawyer, Gloria Allred, show a photo of Bryant and her boyfriend Rudy Eugene, during a news conference, Wednesday, June 6, 2012 in Miami. Bryant said she last heard from Eugene the day before he chewed off the face of a homeless man alongside a Miami highway. A police officer shot and killed Eugene. The homeless man remains hospitalized. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Full 18-Minute Attack Surveillance Footage

  • Photos Released of Face-Chewing Victim in Miami

    Doctors release photos of Ronald Poppo, the 65-year-old homeless man who was the victim of a gruesome face-eating attack in Miami.

  • Miami Homeless Discuss Face-Eating Attack

    Homeless men who live near where one man allegedly ate the face of a homeless man react to the crime. (May 30)