Paulding County

‘I didn’t think:’ Men who disarmed shooter at a Hiram bar speak out

HIRAM, Ga. — Mauricio “Moe” Puerto is being heralded as a hero after he rushed to danger after a man opened fire inside a bar before driving his truck into the side of the building, causing several injuries.

Eduardo Morales is sitting in the Paulding County Detention Center where he is charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery. Police say he could face even more charges after he left several people hospitalized.

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Investigators say Morales was kicked out of 278 South Bar and Grill in Hiram Saturday night before returning to the crowded bar and spraying gunfire inside and then driving his truck through the doors.

That’s when Puerto leapt into action.

“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 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 told Channel 2′s Michael Seiden.

Puerto says he was trying to stop Morales from reloading his weapon when the truck started to roll back, pinning Puerto’s left leg between the wall and the truck.


He began shouting for help and a father and son came to his aid.

“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,” said Scott Parker. “My son then came up behind me and I passed the gun to him after checking to make sure it was cleared.”

“As soon as you realize someone is firing, you just have to make a choice and react,” Scott Parker Jr. said.

Morales was subsequently arrested.

Puerto returned to the bar Sunday, where he says he’s sore, but thankful no one got hurt.

“People are calling you a hero,” Seiden told Puerto.

“No, no, no, that’s not me. A lot of people did some amazing things last night,” he responded.

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Watch Seiden’s full interview with Puerto in the video below.