In the wake of the horrific murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., law enforcement officials across the country are bracing for potential copycats or increased incidents of violence.
"There is always a potential for somebody to copycat and you have to be alert to that fact," said Capt. Jeff Waite of the Marietta Police Department.
Nearby Wirt County (W.Va.) High School went into lockdown Monday after an unknown suspect called a bomb threat into the school. The school was swept by the West Virginia State Police K-9 unit and pronounced safe.
The Associated Press
Students embrace while wearing Newtown school shirts outside the funeral for six-year-old student shooting victim Jack Pinto in Newtown, Conn., Monday. A gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the town on Friday, killing 26 people, including 20 children before killing himself.
The Associated Press reported Monday that three Ohio schools were on alert after apparent social media threats.
In Springfield, a Shawnee High School student was questioned, but not charged, after posting on Facebook that he could "do better" than Friday's 28-person death toll.
In Willoughby, parents were notified of Twitter postings saying a gun and bomb would be brought to a local middle school.
And on Sunday, an 18-year-old Hamilton County man was charged with inducing panic after posting on Facebook that the flooding of comments about the Connecticut shootings made him want to shoot kids himself.
In fact, threats across the country resulted in several arrests.
In Columbia, Tenn., a 19-year-old was arrested after posting a similarly threatening Facebook message.
And in Los Angeles, Calif., a 24-year-old man was arrested and nine guns were confiscated in response to threatening social media comments the man made toward Los Angeles elementary schools.
"If something happens, there's always a possibility something similar may happen once again. It may give someone an idea," said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.
All of those threats were headed off before they could be acted upon.
However, further incidents of gun violence were also splashed across the news this weekend.
On Saturday, The Associated Press reported an armed man walked into a hospital in Birmingham, Ala. and injured two employees and a police officer before being fatally shot himself.
Later that day, one person was injured when a California man decided to vent his frustrations by firing off around 50 rounds in the parking lot of a crowded shopping mall.
On Sunday, a man shot and wounded patrons in a movie theater parking lot in Texas before he was also shot and wounded by an off-duty sheriff's deputy.
An in Kansas, two police officers were shot and killed Sunday responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle outside a grocery store.
Waite said the department's officers have been told to be more vigilant for signs of suspicious activity.
"We are always vigilant," said Mincks, adding, "We put the word out to our people to be extra cautious."
Mincks said the recent events in Connecticut have prompted the Sheriff's Office to expedite the safety training programs they already had planned with local schools.
"We had some of them scheduled already and now we are going to do more of them," he said.
However, both Mincks and Waite noted that weekend crimes here in Washington County did not differ from the norm.