Georgia Courthouse Shooter Was a Self-Described "Sovereign Citizen," Which Is As Bad As It Sounds

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A heavily armed man shot a deputy outside a Forsyth County, Georgia courthouse on Friday before he was killed in a shootout with police officers. The man, identified as 48-year-old Dennis Marx, had explosives on him and identified as a "sovereign citizen," which is unfortunately just as messed up as it sounds. The movement is full of fringe right-wing anarchists who think "virtually all existing government in the United States is illegitimate," according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Marx planned to get inside the courthouse and take hostages, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. He was supposed to be in court that day for a hearing on charges related to weapons and drugs, according to the newspaper. The county's sheriff, Duane Piper, told the newspaper in an interview that the deputy who was shot, James Daniel Rush, probably saved lives. The deputy's expected to recover from his injuries.

It would be a guess to think how many lives he (the deputy) saved had he not engaged him right there. Mr. Marx’s intention was to get inside that front door and to take hostages. He had been planning it for a while.

The sheriff also said in a news conference that Marx had restraining devices on him that made it seem like he was planning to hole up in the courthouse for some period of time, CNN reported.

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.

Marx definitely had problems with the law, which isn't unusual among so-called "sovereign citizens," who are known for filing nuisance lawsuits that basically end up slowing down court systems and causing them to spend tons of money on suits, the Constitution explained. In one filing over drug charges, Marx spelled out his complaints.

The Forsyth County authorities inappropriately acting within their respective jurisdictions have already sealed the plaintiff’s future. Plaintiff seeks to ensure that other unsuspecting citizens are spared the lies and brutality that he has personally survived to date.

Apparently police think Marx booby-trapped his home in an attempt to harm more police officers, so cops have not yet been able to get in, CNN reports.