A “heavily intoxicated” man who’d been kicked out of a Georgia nightclub returned to shoot the place up, then drove his truck through the bar, injuring several patrons.
By the time it was over, 34-year-old Eduardo Morales was in custody, having left numerous people with broken bones, bullet wounds and other injuries, the Hiram Police Department said.
Morales had been asked to leave the bar at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday “because he was intoxicated,” police said in a statement. He did leave, but he didn’t stay away for long.© Handout Eduardo Morales
“Morales returned a short time later driving, a black Dodge Ram 2500, and pulled up to the front of the establishment,” police said in a statement. “Morales then began firing a weapon into the club through the window of his truck.”
When he ran out of bullets, he drove his truck into the bar through the front doors, “striking numerous patrons,” police said. It slammed into the bar and stopped, whereupon he tried to back out of the place, but got stuck.
While he was stuck, he tried to reload, but patrons pulled him out of the truck and held him until police arrived.
Morales suffered minor injuries and was jailed, police said. “One person inside the bar was grazed by a bullet and another patron, hit twice by the vehicle, was treated and released.”
Patrons described a chaotic scene that quickly escalated. First, a bouncer threw Morales out of the bar after he smashed two bottles together when he was denied service, witness Ydon Gerneus told WSB-TV of Atlanta.
“Twenty minutes later, we heard two gunshots,” Gerneus said. “Me and my partner fell to the floor. All you hear is glass breaking and people screaming, and the car comes in through the front door.”
Among the injured was a security guard, WSB reported. In addition, one woman’s legs were crushed under the truck, witnesses told the station, and a beam fell on another woman’s head. Another man broke his legs while helping wrestle the gun away from Morales, WSB reported.
“Many other patrons sustained minor injuries,” the station said. “All are expected to survive.”
The bar, 278 South, sent out a heartfelt message as it remained closed indefinitely.
“Our hearts are broken over the events of last night,” the owners said Sunday on Facebook. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved. We’ve always put our customer’s safety first and foremost and we are devastated. We like to believe most people are good….and it showed last night. Many are heroes for their bravery and possibly stopping a situation that could have escalated even further. We will forever be grateful for these heroes. Thank you all for the calls, texts and support. Please check our page for updates on reopening as we do not have a timeline currently. Thank you again, we love you all.”