"The only way I can describe it is in a frontal assault on our court house," said Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper.
The gunman, Dennis Marx, was due in Court today (June 6th, 2014) to accept a plea deal on marijuana and firearms charges. Instead, Marx showed up ready for battle. Around 10:30 a.m. he pulled up to the courthouse, deployed spike strips, and threw homemade smoke grenades and pepper grenades to slow any police response.
James Daniel Rush, a deputy working the doorway of the courthouse confronted Marx.
"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.
Deputy rush was struck in the leg, with the bullet breaking both his fibula and tibia. He is currently in surgery and expected to make a full recovery.
The SWAT team, which had been in route to another assignment, arrived 37 seconds after the incident started. An intense firefight broke out with the sound of automatic fire scattered throughout. Marx was struck multiple times and killed.
"He came prepared to stay a while," the sheriff said. "We don't know who he was coming to the courthouse for, but with the flex ties and the restraining devices he had with him ... we have to assume that he was there to occupy the courthouse."
"It would be a guess to think how many lives he (the deputy) saved had he not engaged him right there," Piper said. "Mr. Marx's intention was to get inside that front door and to take hostages."
Marx had filed numerous lawsuits against the county over the past three years. He was also a former Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) employee.
When police searched Marx's residence they found multiple homemade explosives.