Authorities shot and killed a sovereign citizen Friday morning outside a Georgia courthouse after he brought weapons and explosives in an attempt to take over the building.
Investigators said Dennis Marx arrived at the Forsyth County Administration Building with an assault rifle, bulletproof vest, smoke grenades, and a gas mask.
Marx also brought water and other supplies, ammunition, zip-tie restraints, and buckets of homemade explosives to the courthouse, said Sheriff Duane Piper.
“He came here with the purpose of occupying the courthouse,” Piper said.
He deployed stop sticks at the courthouse entrance to prevent other vehicles from driving closer and opened fire from his vehicle.
Marx was met outside the courthouse by a deputy – who distracted and then fatally shot him through the windshield of the man’s SUV.
The deputy, a 30-year veteran, was shot in the knee during the confrontation but was expected to recover.
“It would be a guess to think how many lives he 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.”
Investigators said the 48-year-old Marx was a “sovereign citizen” who was well known to local authorities.
He has been due in court Friday to plead out on marijuana distribution and firearms possession charges.
His attorney, Ann Shafer, told reporters she had withdrawn from his case Thursday because he was unsatisfied with her negotiating abilities.
The attorney said she asked Marx – who she described as a firearms dealer – to undergo a psychological evaluation, but he refused.
Shafer said Marx had made “veiled threats” against her during their time together.
The sheriff described Marx’s home, where he apparently had not lived for 10 days, as a “bomb,” saying the house had been booby-trapped with homemade explosives.
Watch this video report posted online by WXIA-TV: