PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. — The man accused of driving a car into a Hiram bar and opening fire over the weekend made his first appearance in court on Monday morning.
According to a release from the Hiram Police Department, 34-year-old Eduardo Morales is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of aggravated battery. A judge denied Morales bond.
Hiram Police said Morales was kicked out of 278 South Bar because he was intoxicated before he returned and started firing a gun into the bar through the window of his Dodge Ram 2500. When he ran out of bullets, police said Morales allegedly drove his truck into the bar's front windows and hit several customers.
One customer, Mo Puerto, said he jumped into action to help.
“First thing I could do is think of how to neutralize it. He wasn’t letting go and I kept hitting him with my elbow and holding him down,” said Puerto.
Puerto took action all while being pinned between the wall and the truck.
"I just reacted and jumped in the driver's side window, he said.
He said he was able to release the magazine out of the gun. He was struggling when two other men ran up to help.
“I yelled, 'gun, there's a gun, there's a gun,' and for them to run into a truck where there’s a gun, that takes courage,” said Puerto.
Police said two people were injured, one person was grazed by a bullet and the other was hit by the truck. Both of them are expected to be ok.
278 South said they were devastated in a statement on social media.
"Our hearts are broken over the events of last night. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved. We’ve always put our customer’s safety first and foremost and we are devastated," the post states.
A police report states Morales sustained minor injuries and was treated at the hospital. Then he was taken to the Paulding County Jail.
Hiram Police Chief Michael Turner said he’s grateful for the help of Puerto and others who stepped up and stopped the gunman.
“I have nothing but praise for them. They were able to get him out of the car and away from the weapon,” said Turner.
Police are asking anyone who was at 278 South on Saturday night to contact them. This is still an active investigation and they want to get all the information they can as soon as possible.