82-count indictment for man accused of driving into Paulding bar, shooting

The Paulding County grand jury has handed down an 82-count indictment against a man accused of driving his truck into a bar and firing shots, injuring several people.

Eduardo Morales, 34, of Dallas, was indicted on 52 counts of aggravated assault, 27 counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, two counts of aggravated battery, and criminal damage to property, court records show.

On July 10, Morales had been asked to leave the 278 South Bar & Grill in Hiram because he was intoxicated, according to police. He left, but later returned in his Dodge Ram 2500 and started firing a gun through the window of the truck, police said.

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Once the clip was empty, Morales drove the truck into the bar through the front doors, hitting numerous patrons, according to investigators.

A group was able to get the gun away from Morales as he tried to reload it, witnesses said. One person inside the bar, Mauricio “Moe” Puerto, told Channel 2 Action News he ran toward the truck when it smashed through the building.

“I dove in through the driver’s-side window, and when I reached in there, I noticed that he had a pistol and he was reloading and putting another magazine in,” Puerto said. “And I grabbed the wrist where he had the pistol. He was putting up a fight and he wouldn’t let it go. I kept elbowing him with my right arm.”

Puerto said the truck began rolling back and pinned his left leg against the wall. He shouted for help and a father and son came to his aid, the news station reported.

“I climbed into the passenger side and helped (Puerto) wrestle the driver and free the gun from his hand. (Puerto) gave me the gun to secure,” Scott Parker said. “My son then came up behind me and I passed the gun to him after checking to make sure it was cleared.”

Morales suffered minor injuries and was taken to Paulding Wellstar Hospital and then to the Paulding County jail. He has remained in jail without bond since his arrest.

Court records show Morales is scheduled for arraignment Oct. 18.