* Courthouse reopens after shooting.
CUMMING — Despite having to undergo a second surgery Monday, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Rush was doing well, according to officials.
“He’s still in really good spirits,” said Sheriff’s Maj. Rick Doyle. “He’s been very humbled by the whole experience.”
Authorities are crediting Rush for preventing what could have been a “major catastrophe” Friday, when a 48-year-old heavily armed Cumming man launched an attack on the Forsyth County Courthouse.
Rush confronted Dennis Ronald Marx after the suspect drove a rented silver Nissan Armada onto the courthouse plaza about 9:57 a.m. and threw out spike strips to hold off law enforcement’s response before attacking the facility.
Instead of being able to drive into the courthouse, Marx set off some smoke and tear gas grenades and exchanged gunfire with Rush as other deputies quickly joined in.
Marx, who was alone in the vehicle and wearing body armor, was struck several times and died at the scene. Rush suffered two broken bones in his leg and is expected to make a full recovery.
“If not for the actions of the deputies that work in that courthouse, particularly the one who was outside who got shot, we would have had severe loss of life,” Sheriff Duane Piper said after the attack.
“[The gunman] came there … with the specific purpose of killing as many people as he could. The actions of the deputies saved several lives.”
After nearly 25 years on the job, all Rush is “thinking about is how soon he can get back to work,” Doyle said.
“He’s still got a long road to recovery,” Doyle continued, but added that the agency will place Rush on light duty as soon as doctors clear him.
Rush has received a steady flow of visitors from elected officials, friends and his courthouse and sheriff’s office family, including judges.
And in addition to the company, Rush has received gifts and assistance from the community and local businesses.
“One of the first things he said in the hospital bed was that he was worried about getting his grass cut, so we set up a landscaping service to cut his grass for the next four months,” Doyle said.
“Home Depot has donated some wood and [volunteers] are using it to build a ramp for him to be able to get into his house.”
In addition, a small fund has been set up for him at BB&T bank to help pay for incidentals and expenses not covered by workers’ compensation.
“Some of his good friends actually started it,” Doyle said. “They’re going to be selling T-shirts starting Friday.”
The James Daniel Rush account has been set up for anyone who would like to visit a BB&T branch and donate money to help Rush.