CUMMING — The longtime Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputy who authorities and onlookers have credited with saving lives in June 2014 by preventing a heavily armed gunman from storming the former courthouse has returned to full duty.
Deputy Daniel Rush, a 30-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, underwent surgery to recover from a bullet wound that broke his leg.
Just before 10 a.m. on June 6, 2014, 48-year-old Dennis Marx of Cumming drove a rented Nissan Armada onto the plaza of the old courthouse in downtown Cumming in an attempt to shoot his way inside.
Rush was on patrol outside the courthouse when Marx drove up, making him the first person to respond to what Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper has described as a “full frontal attack.”
The gunman, who was clad in body armor and a gas mask, shot at Rush through the window of his sport utility vehicle before throwing tear gas and smoke and pepper spray grenades.
Piper has repeatedly stated that many lives would have been lost had the shooter made it inside the courthouse.
“I am elated that Daniel has returned [this week] to full duty and has recovered from his injuries,” Piper said. “Daniel’s drive and determination through his healing process demonstrate the strong will, commitment and resiliency of all of our deputies in Forsyth County.”
Shortly after Rush exchanged gunfire with Marx, the county’s SWAT team, which happened to be nearby at the time, and deputies from the jail and inside the courthouse joined in the firefight. Marx was fatally shot before making it far from his vehicle.
Through fundraisers and news updates, Rush has wished to remain out of the spotlight since the attack. In late July 2014, he accepted the Deputy Sheriff of the Year Award for Valor during the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association annual summer conference.
Two other deputies — Bobby Francis and Brian Chatham — were honored in February with a life-saving award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Macon. The men applied a makeshift tourniquet to Rush’s leg before moving him away from the line of fire.