Relative of Forsyth Courthouse gunman speaks with CBS46 - CBS46 News

Relative of Forsyth Courthouse shooter speaks only with CBS46 News

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CUMMING, GA (CBS46) -

According to police, Dennis Marx arrived at the Forsyth County Courthouse on June 6 armed to shoot and take hostages.

Marx's family strongly disputes that theory and contacted CBS46's Adam Murphy to tell their side of the story.

The relative, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, said she was "beyond shocked" by Marx's actions.

"He was a great guy, very, very caring, very loving, considerate, polite, friendly. He'd give you his shirt off his back if you were cold," she said.

But he wasn't on friendly terms with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Department.

Last August, Marx filed a federal civil rights complaint, listing the sheriff's office and more than two dozen of its personnel. It alleged that the department engaged in unconstitutional and unlawful activity when it raided his home in Cumming three years ago.

He claimed the defendants set off flash bang grenades before entering his home, used excessive force when taking him into custody, and damaged and seized his property.

"There were 30 officers that responded for that search and two arrest warrants, like it was some crazy lunatic living in some sort of compound or something. They flipped over couches, they did stuff with antique Coke memorabilia, things that you just can't go out and buy," she said.

The raid led to marijuana charges, which is why Marx was due in court. Prior to the rampage, Marx texted a photo of a marijuana leaf to Murphy with the message "Let Freedom Ring." But the family member denied that Marx dealt marijuana, although she said he had smoked occasionally.

She also said Marx did not have a criminal history and never discussed retaliation against the sheriff's department. She doesn't believe his actions were due to mental illness or part of a long term plan. In fact, she said Marx enjoyed a family vacation at Disney World the week before the shooting.

When asked if the family is sorry about what happened, she said, "Yes. He cared for and loved his family with everything and with all his heart and he didn't want this to be the last thing they remembered."

Marx called Murphy just minutes before he was shot and killed on the courthouse steps and left a voicemail. Murphy played the message for her and she became emotional and confirmed that was, in fact, Marx's voice.

Deputies reportedly raided Marx's home after his death. CBS46 got an inside look at the damage and will have that story Tuesday at 11 p.m.

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