Courthouse Shooting: Georgia Authorities Kill GunmanBy: Toni Matthews-El - June 7, 2014
A Georgia man’s plans to engage in a mass shooting on Friday ended with one injury and his own death.
Authorities were forced to gun down Dennis Ronald Marx outside the Forsyth County Courthouse in Cumming, Ga.
The 48-year-old reportedly drove up to the courthouse in an SUV at around 10:00 am. After riding up on the sidewalk, the man threw down spike strips and explosives in an effort to keep officers away from him.
Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper said that Marx fired at police officers through the windshield of his vehicle.
Deputies returned fire. The gunman received multiple gunshot wounds. One sheriff’s deputy was shot in the leg during the exchange.
The injured deputy was identified as James Rush. He was the first deputy to encounter Marx.
While it’s not known if he is the one who fatally shot the gunman, Rush is credited with preventing a larger tragedy.
Said Piper, “The entire situation was solved by that deputy’s actions.”
The 46-year-old Forsyth County deputy is expected to make a complete recovery.
An investigation into Marx’s background revealed that the man had taken a terrifying amount of time to make preparations for the incident.
He was armed with grenades, homemade explosive devices, and several magazines. Marx had also rigged his body with explosives.
Marx was due in court Friday to enter a guilty plea in a drug case.
His lawyer, Ann Shafer had described Marx as “unstable at times”.
She waited for her client for 40 minutes before determining he wouldn’t be coming to court. Shafer said that as she was exiting the courthouse, she heard gunfire.
Said Shafer, “I feel very lucky that I walked out the back of the courthouse instead of the front.”
Her client had made threats against her and other lawyers in the past.
In his complaint against the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department, Marx made various paranoid accusations against Georgia authorities. He at one point claimed that they had used chemical agents to make him believe an explosion occurred.
Investigators are carefully searching Marx’s home, where he had reportedly not stayed in 10 days. They are concerned it may be rigged with explosives.
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