FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. - A Forsyth County corporal is recovering from a gunshot wound after confronting a shooter who authorities said was intending to cause mayhem at a local courthouse.
Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper said the shooter, Dennis Marx, walked up to Forsyth County Administration Building on East Main Street at about 10:30 a.m. Friday and opened fire. He was armed with an assault rifle, according to authorities. Piper said Marx threw stop sticks on the road so that cars could not approach.
Marx was approached by Corporal Daniel Rush, who Marx then shot in the leg, Piper confirmed.
“The only way I can describe it is as a frontal assault on our courthouse,” Piper said.
Piper said Rush was taken to North Fulton Hospital in Roswell with non-life threatening injuries. He had surgery Friday night and had two broken bones in his leg. He's expected to make a full recovery.
“From the video, it looks like he saw that deputy, swerved to try and run over the deputy. The deputy engaged him. He was shooting at Mr. Marx in the vehicle, Mr. Marx was shooting through the windshield at the deputy,” Piper said.
The SWAT team, which was on its way to a separate incident, arrived at the courthouse within 37 seconds. Marx was shot dead in front of the courthouse a short time later. At least eight deputies fired their weapons at Marx.
None of the other deputies involved in the incident was injured.
“He came there with the specific purpose of killing as many people as he could. The actions of those deputies saved several lives in Forsyth County tonight,” Piper said.
Piper said Marx booby-trapped himself with live grenades that could've been detonated if someone tried to grab him.
Pipe bombs found at gunman's home
Officers found pipe bombs and other incendiary devices at Marx’s home in Cumming. A handwritten checklist of the items that he was bringing with him to the courthouse was also found inside the home.
Piper said evidence showed that Marx had not been living at his home for more than a week and instead had been staying at a hotel.
“It's kind of creepy to find out a whacko lives in your neighborhood,” neighbor Jane Bizzell said.
Channel 2’s Mark Winne said his source said a new deal that Marx himself agreed to was about to be presented to the judge for final acceptance also included first offender treatment and that Marx would not have had to go to jail Friday and could have surrendered later for his 60 days in a detention center.
Friends have opened an account at BB&T “Daniel Rush Recovery Fund.” People can donate at any bank branch.
Authorities said the Forsyth County Courthouse and Administration Building will reopen Monday for normal operations. No jury trials will be held on Monday.