Willie Joe Moran
Photo: Hall County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Hall County Sheriff's Office

Gainesville man accused of 2 shootings, includes wounding Huddle House cook

Hall County deputies executed a drug search warrant Friday, and while they didn’t find drugs, they found a suspect in two shooting investigations, authorities said.

The sheriff’s office arrested two people, and one of them is accused of shooting a Huddle House cook several times in January, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Willie Joe Moran, 24, of Gainesville, is accused of the Jan. 23 shooting at the restaurant in addition to a shooting 30 minutes later in the 1200 block of Marlow Drive, the release said.

Michael Benham, 60, of Lula, was the wounded Huddle House cook, and he was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in critical condition, but he is expected to survive, AJC.com previously reported. 

MORE: Huddle House cook shot multiple times, critically injured

The Marlow Drive shooting victim is a 37-year-old woman, who remains at Grady Memorial Hospital and is expected to survive, the release said. Investigators do not believe she was the intended target of the shooting.

In connection with the two shootings, Moran faces one count of attempted murder, four counts of aggravated assault, three counts of aggravated battery, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and two counts of wearing a mask to conceal his identity in connection with a crime, the release said.

He, along with 23-year-old Allisha Thomas, also faces second-degree child cruelty charges after the search warrant of their home in the 100 block of Dean Street found two boys in “deplorable living conditions,” the release said. The Georgia Department of Family and Children’s Services was notified.

Allisha Thomas
Photo: Hall County Sheriff's Office

The search warrant was executed by the sheriff’s office, Gainesville police and the Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad, the release said.

As of Monday night, Moran remained in the Hall County Jail without bond, according to jail records. Thomas remained in jail on a $9,200 bond.

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