* Watch videos from the scene downtown.
* View our photo gallery of the scene.
* Wounded deputy hailed for actions.
* Suspect's home cleared after fear of booby traps.
* Authorities were familiar with gunman.
* Lawsuit sheds some insight into shooter.
* Officials were reviewing new state gun law.
* Motorist saw assault downtown.
* Downtown shut down after attack.
* Sheriff details response.
GAINESVILLE — A lawsuit filed by Dennis Ronald Marx against the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office in federal court may shed some insight into his rationale for targeting the criminal justice system, with the complaint and subsequent motions reading as a manifesto of sorts against the agency and systems at large in some instances.
Marx, 48, of Cumming was identified as the heavily armed gunman who shot a veteran sheriff’s deputy in the leg Friday morning outside the Forsyth County Courthouse. He was, in turn, shot and killed by other deputies at the scene, Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper said.
Marx alleged civil rights violations by the sheriff’s office and individual officers in the suit filed Aug. 2, listing excessive force and unlawful search and seizures among other constitutional violations, for which he sought injunctive and compensatory relief, stemming from an August 2011 arrest.
In an amendment to the complaint filed April 2 in U.S. District Court, which a judge ruled against, Marx alleged a deputy had set in motion events that caused a death in his family.
“Plaintiff also has information and receipts to verify his statements to defendants regarding the seizure of plaintiff’s family’s property, leaving plaintiff and plaintiff’s family without the means to properly protect themselves and/or relocate, as is their constitutional right, leading directly or indirectly to the death and/or murder of one member of plaintiff’s family,” the motion read.
He had said that at least $50,000 of his property had been seized by civil forfeiture, without due process.
In addition, he contended that the search warrant was illegally executed in an untimely manner, and that he had been handled with excessive force by deputies when arrested, saying he was “dragged by his ankles” out of his home.
In another motion filed March 21, Marx said he had discovered that a confidential informant who supplied information leading to his Aug. 3, 2011, arrest had been arrested on a felony sexual offense.
Marx said Forsyth Sheriff’s Detective Thomas Little had not disclosed the informant’s pending child molestation charges in the affidavit for the search warrant.
“These cases referred to appear to have occurred or originated beginning April 1, 2011, at least four months prior to the initial incident of coercion and entrapment of plaintiff on Aug. 1, 2011, and this disturbing pertinent information should most certainly have been included within the affidavit made by defendant Little,” read the motion.
“Plaintiff believes that defendant Little, with all his experience and training, deliberately failed to divulge this acrimonious information regarding the qualifications of his paid CI ... usually called ‘confidential informants,’ which is an oxymoron if I have ever heard one,” the motion continued.
Marx claimed the use of informants willing to “rat out,” “lie” and “participate in criminal activity” for pay was an “epidemic” that was at risk of spreading worldwide.
He intended on pursuing further civil action against the sheriff’s office, concluding in one motion that he was preparing to file a wrongful death complaint against the office.
It was not immediately clear who had died and that person’s connection to Marx.