Saturday, February 24, 2018
News Roundup

Deputy shot in courthouse assault near Atlanta may have stopped slaughter

CUMMING, Ga. — A man wielding an assault rifle, explosives and supplies to take hostages opened fire outside a Georgia courthouse Friday, wounding a deputy before he was killed in a shootout with officers, authorities said.

Dennis Marx had been due in court Friday morning to plead guilty in a drug case. He arrived at the courthouse wearing body armor in a rented SUV with both homemade and commercially made explosives, two handguns, zip ties, water and other gear. He dropped homemade spike strips and used smoke devices to try to keep officers from reaching him, said Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper.

Authorities were familiar with Marx, who had placed obstacles around his home about 40 miles northeast of Atlanta when officers came to arrest him in the past. Bomb squads carefully checked the home in a hilly, wooded neighborhood, fearing he may have set explosive traps around the property. While explosive devices were found inside the home, they were not set to detonate, Piper said. Marx had left his house several days before the attack, Piper said.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that authorities viewed Marx as a "sovereign citizen" who was part of an antigovernment group that has been tied to violent attacks on law enforcement around the country.

The wounded deputy prevented others from getting hurt when he encountered Marx, Piper said. The sheriff's office said in a news release that Marx tried to run over the deputy, and the deputy then shot at Marx.

"When the deputy engaged him outside, it saved lives," Piper said. "The entire situation was solved by that deputy's actions."

Other deputies heard the gunshots and rushed to help, leading to a gunbattle that lasted about two minutes and involved eight deputies, Piper said. It was not clear which one fired the fatal shot, he said.

The named of the injured deputy was not released. He was expected to make a full recovery.

Marx has had numerous run-ins with the law, dating to at least 2011. In August of that year, he was arrested on numerous felony charges, including selling marijuana and weapon possession.

That same month, authorities filed papers in an effort to seize weapons and money found after an undercover officer bought drugs from Marx. Court documents show authorities wanted to seize two dozen handguns and rifles, 71 gun magazines and $24,311 in cash.

The seizure case was put on hold while the criminal charges were pending, said Richard Grossman, who represented Marx in the seizure case. Another attorney representing Marx had negotiated a "very favorable" plea deal for the man in the criminal case, and Marx had been scheduled to plead guilty on Friday morning. "It seems like he was really afraid and did this irrational act," said Grossman.

Comments

High school scoreboard for Feb. 23

Friday’s scoreboardSoftballSpringstead 2, Crystal River 0BaseballCalvary Christian 9, Countryside 2Northeast 15, Tarpon Springs 1
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida Capitol Republicans promise ‘complete investigation’ of what went wrong

Florida Capitol Republicans promise ‘complete investigation’ of what went wrong

TALLAHASSEE — A bombshell that South Florida police ignored tips that a teenager was planning an assault on a school and then failed to stop him when he attacked seems destined to complicate the election-year discussion around mass shootings.Even in ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Top Justice official alerted White House 2 weeks ago to ongoing issues in Kushner’s security clearance

Top Justice official alerted White House 2 weeks ago to ongoing issues in Kushner’s security clearance

WASHINGTON — A top Justice Department official alerted the White House two weeks ago that significant information requiring additional investigation would further delay the security clearance process of senior adviser Jared Kushner, three people fami...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Indiana man killed, two hurt as boats collide on Little Manatee River

Indiana man killed, two hurt as boats collide on Little Manatee River

RUSKIN — Arthur D. Showley, 75, went fishing early Friday morning, something he did two or three times a week, friends said. When they saw his car and trailer still parked near a community boat ramp at 2 p.m., they thought that was strange."He never ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Here are the GOP’s responses to the Parkland massacre. Would any have worked?

Here are the GOP’s responses to the Parkland massacre. Would any have worked?

Gov. Rick Scott and Republican leadership in the Florida Legislature have rolled out their ideas for change in response to the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. But would these measures have made a difference in the worst mass...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Former Florida congressmen say gun control measures need to go much further

Former Florida congressmen say gun control measures need to go much further

TAMPA — A bipartisan pair of former congressmen spoke Friday about gun safety measures that are more drastic than those being considered following the Parkland school shootings, and about hopes for a national youth movement comparable to the 1960s an...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Restricting bullets rather than guns might cut toll of school shootings, some experts say

Restricting bullets rather than guns might cut toll of school shootings, some experts say

This is the sad new math in the age of school slaughter.If one student comes to school with a firearm and 10 ammunition magazines filled with 30 bullets each, and another comes with a firearm and 30 magazines filled with 10 bullets each, who can crea...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Epilogue: Lee Davis, businessman and adventurer, survived many a scrape

Epilogue: Lee Davis, businessman and adventurer, survived many a scrape

TAMPA — Friends and family have a saying about Lee Thornton Davis Jr. Once you met him, even for just a moment, you knew him forever."He was the most outgoing person I’d ever met," Dick Greco said, which is something coming from Tampa’s gregarious, 8...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

The head of the Pinellas and Hillsborough career centers under multiple investigations into the way they report job placement figures says he has no intention of stepping down.That’s unless he is paid five months severance.In a letter from his attorn...
Updated: 6 hours ago
She’s taught at the Parkland high school for 14 years. Can she go back?

She’s taught at the Parkland high school for 14 years. Can she go back?

PARKLAND — She was afraid of what it would feel like, but she needed to know, so Melissa Falkowski pulled into the faculty parking lot. She took a deep breath in through her nose and climbed out of her car. She was back, in front of Marjory Stoneman ...
Updated: 6 hours ago