Sheriff: Man planned assault at Forsyth Co. courthouse - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sheriff: Man planned assault at Forsyth Co. courthouse

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Dennis Marx was well known to law enforcement Dennis Marx was well known to law enforcement
Traffic is re-routed around the Cumming courthouse, while the GBI checks for a possible bomb Traffic is re-routed around the Cumming courthouse, while the GBI checks for a possible bomb
Cumming Courthouse (WSB) Cumming Courthouse (WSB)

CUMMING, Ga. (AP) - Authorities say a man who shot and wounded a deputy outside a courthouse in Georgia was heavily armed and planned to take hostages.

Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper says suspect Dennis Marx was shot and killed Friday. He says Marx drove a vehicle up to the courthouse steps, threw out homemade "spike strips" designed to flatten car tires and fired at a deputy who came out of the courthouse, shooting the officer in the leg. Police say the deputy, identified as Daniel Rush, is okay.

Piper says Marx had homemade and commercially made explosives inside his vehicle and on his body. He says authorities don't know a motive.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and federal authorities were helping to ensure there were no explosives inside the courthouse. Piper says authorities have found Marx's home and believe it could be booby-trapped.

A lawyer said Marx had reached a plea deal in a drug case and had been set to plead guilty the morning of his attack.

Dennis Marx had been due in court Friday morning on charges related to his arrest in August 2011. He had been charged with selling marijuana, firearm possession during a felony and other counts.

That same month, authorities filed court papers seeking to seize two dozen handguns and rifles, 71 gun magazines and $24,311 in cash from Marx. The attorney who represented Marx in the civil seizure case, Richard Grossman, says officers found the weapons cache after an undercover officer bought drugs from Marx.

Grossman says another attorney negotiated a "very favorable" plea deal for Marx.

Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper says Marx had been arrested multiple times in the past, and on one occasion had set traps outside his home.

WALB learned that the armed man was wearing a bullet proof vest, gas mask, and carrying a smoke grenade.

As many as 50 shots may have been fired in the exchange between Marx and the veteran deputy, who is credited with saving lives, because the man intended to barricade the courthouse and take hostages.

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