Burbank (Calif.) Police officers investigating a rumor that a truant teenager was planning to "shoot up" Bellarmine-Jefferson High School five years ago were justified in invading the student's home without a warrant because of concerns that violence was imminent, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday.
Student Vincent Huff had been subjected to bullying and had been absent for two days when police were alerted by school authorities to "a rumor about a letter" in which the student had allegedly warned of an attack on the school, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Huff's parents, George and Maria, failed to answer their telephone or front door when officers arrived to investigate. When one of the officers called Maria Huff on her cellphone to inform her that they were outside, she came out with her son to talk to the officers. She declined to invite them in, and when asked if there were guns in the house, she rushed back inside. Officers followed, fearing that a violent confrontation might be imminent, according to court documents.