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DeKalb Co. man under mental evaluation after disturbing social media posts, officials say

Everyone WAAY 31 talked to on Monday agreed social media can be dangerous, but they say they’re just thankful that local law enforcement is paying attention to it.

Posted: Feb 19, 2018 3:16 PM
Updated: Feb 19, 2018 4:32 PM

A DeKalb County man is being held for mental evaluation after some disturbing posts on social media.

According to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, 21-year-old Cole Barnes, was arrested for walking into a school with a pellet gun last week. He is still being held for a mental evaluation after investigators looked at his social media pages.

WAAY 31 reached out to community on Monday to see what they thought about the man’s posts and law enforcement’s response to them.

Everyone WAAY 31 talked to agreed social media can be dangerous, but they say they’re just thankful that local law enforcement is paying attention to it.

“It’s very scary. It feels like no one is monitoring anything—not even their parents," said DeKalb County resident, Kristal Almond.

Almond is a teacher in DeKalb County and says, after the school shooting in Florida, she’s become extra worried about her students and what they may be posting on social media.

“I wish there was some kind of regulation where they couldn’t post any and everything," Almond said.

“Social media is probably like the biggest thing right now. I mean, it’s where you can learn about people," said Ty Brooks a DeKalb County.

That’s exactly why officials with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office say, they always check social media pages for anyone who may be under investigation.

This includes 21-year-old Cole Barnes, who was arrested last week after officials say he took a pellet gun into Sylvania High School, after hours, while students were inside.

Officials say a mental evaluation has been ordered for Barnes after they found some disturbing social media posts, including pictures of guns and knifes on his Facebook page.

“It shocks me because it’s Alabama, not Florida. I mean, I don’t expect that here," Brooks said. "It’s scary because it can happen anywhere.”

Brooks says he’s still worried about the future because he thinks another scary part of social media are the people who like to imitate others.

“I hope there’s not too many people out there that want to do exactly what he did, actually bring a gun in," Brooks said. "I mean, it puts a lot of fear in everybody. It’s not a good thing.”

“They should be held accountable," Almond added.

Officials with the Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office told WAAY 31 social media helps them do their job by giving them a better understanding of who they’re dealing with.

The sheriff’s office also wants to remind everyone that if you see anything that poses a threat or some sort of danger on social media, please report it to law enforcement immediately.

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