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Attacker is killed in planned 'frontal assault' on Georgia courthouse

Deputy is injured, suspect is dead after attack on Georgia courthouse is thwarted

Armed with grenades and an assault rifle and prepared for a siege, a man tried to drive into the Forsyth County, Georgia, courthouse on Friday in what officials said was designed to be a “frontal assault” that was rebuffed by a sheriff’s deputy wounded in the attack.

The suspect was identified as Dennis Marx, who was killed by authorities during a shootout at the courthouse, Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper said at a televised news conference from Cumming, Ga.

"Mr. Marx's intention was to get in that front door and take hostages," the sheriff said.

According to Piper, Marx drove his vehicle toward the steps of the courthouse and threw homemade spike strips designed to slow down responding authorities. He also threw grenades, which gave off smoke and possibly pepper gas.

“This was a frontal assault on our courthouse,” the sheriff said.

An unnamed deputy then exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who fired through the windshield of the car. The deputy was hit in the leg and will be fine, the sheriff said.

Other deputies from inside the courthouse and a nearby building responded and engaged in a 90-second shootout. 

Marx was scheduled to attend a hearing at the Forsyth County Courthouse on Friday, but the sheriff would not discuss what the hearing was about. Piper said the motive for the attack is unclear. 

"He came prepared to stay a while," the sheriff said. Marx “came here for the purpose of occupying the courthouse, it appears."

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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