FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. - Channel 2 Action News has learned what prompted the Forsyth County Sheriff's Department to investigate gunman Dennis Marx.
Marx had been fighting criminal charges in the county for nearly three years.
Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh uncovered a search warrant Monday that detailed a marijuana growing operation and a stash of cash.
Marx was set to accept a plea deal on the 2011 charges Friday morning. Investigators said he had other plans for the Forsyth County courthouse and everyone in it.
The investigator on the case told a judge he was working with a confidential informant who claimed he bought marijuana from Marx in the past.
Deputies said that inside Marx’s Cumming home
, they discovered marijuana ready for sale, a scale and a sophisticated grow room.
They also found a safe that contained weed, weapons and more than $23,000 cash, they said.
Marx disputed many of the Sheriff's Department's claims and had filed motions to suppress some of the evidence against him.
The following year, a grand jury indicted Marx on six counts, including sale of marijuana and criminal attempt to manufacture it.
But attorneys told Channel 2 Action News they negotiated a plea deal for Marx and were set to resolve the nearly three
-year-old case for good on Friday morning.
According to investigators, Marx had other plans.
On Friday, police said, Marx was on mission to take control of the courthouse and take out anyone who got in his way.
They say he barreled up to the courthouse steps in an SUV, where he was met by Corp. Daniel Rush.
Rush took a shot to the leg during the exchange of gunfire. Marx did not survive the gun battle with the deputies.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Marx's autopsy revealed he died from multiple gunshot wounds.
The GBI is investigating the deputies' use of force at the request of the sheriff.
Rush considered a hero for taking down gunman
Corp. Daniel Rush continues to recover with shattered bones in his leg after the gunman shot him.
The deputy had a third surgery this afternoon.
Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper said Rush is in good spirits and said the officer has a long recovery road ahead of him, but his actions saved countless lives Friday.
“The bones were completely shattered so it will be quite a rehabilitation process but we'll have him back," Piper told Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston.
Piper said extensive real-life shooter training prepared Rush in the shootout.
"(He) had just gone through his last block of training on Wednesday,” Piper said.
At a secret training facility, Huddleston was allowed to watch that active shooter training course.
Piper said putting all of his officers through the intense training prepares everyone who carries a gun on the force.
"A good example of this
(is) our public information officer, who wasn't available to help us with the press because he was involved in the shooting,” Piper said. "It’s extremely important to the public, particularly that they have officers that are trained and can handle these situations. You don't have to wait on a specialized team that has experienced these types of things and actually been trained like this."
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