DeKalb Co. Sheriff’s Office releases statement on Sylvania School incident
February 14, 2018
Southern Torch (3801 articles)
1 comment

DeKalb Co. Sheriff’s Office releases statement on Sylvania School incident

PHOTO: Cole Joseph Barnes, 21 of Sylvania, was arrested at his residence on Blue Pond Boulevard in Sylvania after entering Sylvania High School. (DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office)

By Staff Reports

FORT PAYNE, Ala.— According to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office: At approximately 7:30 pm on Tuesday February 13, 2018 the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a teacher at Sylvania School concerning an unidentified male subject. The subject was unknown to the teachers and several students claimed that the unknown subject appeared to have a firearm with him.

Cole Barnes, 21 of Sylvania. (DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office)

After the 911 call was placed the faculty took appropriate action to place students and the school on lockdown. From the time of the call, the first officer was on scene within 3 minutes. The following departments responded: DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, Sylvania Police Department, Henagar Police Department, Rainsville Police Department, Fort Payne Police Department, Alabama State Troopers, DeKalb County Drug Task Force, and DeKalb County Special Response Team.

Along with law enforcement personnel, DeKalb County Superintendent Dr. Jason Barnett, DeKalb County School Board member Matt Sharp, Sylvania Principal Wesley King also responded and stayed on scene to assist law enforcement until the subject was in custody. When officers arrived, all buildings on school campus were searched and secured. Once the scene was deemed safe, the students were released to their parents.

Law enforcement obtained a photo of the subject from the school surveillance system and released to the public for assistance in identifying the subject. Calls were received almost immediately after the release of the photo with information pertaining to the subjects’ name and possible whereabouts. From the tips received and subsequent investigation, it was determined that the subject was Cole Joseph Barnes, 21, of Sylvania.

Barnes was located at his residence on Blue Pond Boulevard in Sylvania, just a couple of miles from the school. When Barnes was located he was detained without incident for questioning to the situation at Sylvania School. During the investigation, it was determined that the firearm in question was actually a pellet pistol.

After the investigation was concluded, Barnes was arrested and charged with criminal trespass 3rd, menacing, and disorderly conduct. Barnes is currently being held in the DeKalb County Detention Center awaiting bond.

DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Michael Edmondson stated, “We appreciate every agency that responded to assist at Sylvania School. We are thankful for a great working relationship with all surrounding agencies. The protection of our children is of the upmost importance to us at the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.”

Southern Torch

Southern Torch


  1. Wendy
    Wendy February 15, 08:50
    People really need to understand, this is a situation being completely over blown due to people wanting to be relevant and spreading rumors, current events, and ignorance fueled by paranoia. The boy was working out on the playground. He saw the school was lit up and opened. Schools around the country are used as places where community meetings are held. He went in to see if there was a game or something. He was a socially awkward kid. Please note, there were no gun charges. What was said to cause 9 police agencies to be called in. The kid was confronted and left. He was not menacing. He was not threatening. The only thing the kid was guilty of being nosey, awkward, and stupid. The article said students saw...he never actually met up with any students, just the one teacher. There were no guns otherwise there would be gun charges. Anyone who knows the boy, knows he catches spiders because he doesn't want to kill them. He is a socially awkward kid. He spent weeks looking for his lost dog. He helped his aunt with her 2 disabled kids. This is a story with nuances (for the uneducated, that is underlying facts) that have yet to be reported. People need to understand is he a dumb kid-Yes. He owns a BB gun. He does NOT even own a real gun. This is a story of a kid being railroaded for political points.

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