sweet-a-kins
Teen fatally shot when he mistakenly went into wrong house
March 19, 2013 at 2:50 PM

 

Teen fatally shot when he mistakenly went into wrong house

Family members hold photos of Caleb Gordley in Sterling, Va. (Associated Press/Ann Heisenfelt)

A 16-year-old who lived in Loudoun County, Va., was shot and killed when he accidentally entered the wrong house.

Caleb Gordley, a popular athlete who had been living in a brick house with his parents and sister for about a year, sneaked out of his house to go to a party with friends after he'd been grounded for not cleaning his room.

When he returned around 2 a.m. he slipped into the house he thought was his. Friends said he had been drinking and mistook his neighbor's similar house two doors down for his own and climbed in through the back window.

When the burglar alarm sounded, the homeowner treated Caleb as an intruder, and shot and killed him.

Caleb's father, Shawn Gordley, told The Washington Post, "They have the exact same staircase as us, the exact same carpet. Caleb clearly thought he was in his own house." He added, "He probably stumbled around and was just trying to go to his room."

At Sterling Park High school in Sterling, Va., students mourned the loss of a talented athlete. The coach of the basketball team, Mike Koscinski, who had advanced Caleb to varsity this year, said of the junior, "He was the hype man. He got everyone hyped up before games."

A statement from the family reads, "Between the darkness and him being under the influence of alcohol, his mistake turned into the ultimate tragedy."

Police are continuing to investigate the shooting, but Virginia law gives "wide latitude to people who fear for their safety when someone breaks into their homes," according to The Washington Post.

 

 

Replies

  • pansyprincess
    March 19, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    omg this is just so damn sad.

  • Dee0886
    by Dee0886
    March 19, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Sad. 

  • Sagely
    by Sagely
    March 19, 2013 at 2:58 PM
    Very sad. Taking the story at face value though, the homeowner did no wrong. It was just a very, very unfortunate situation.

    If someone breaks into my home, I do not intend to make sure they are there with ill intent before I take action to protect my family.

    That said, while I do feel the homeowner was totally justified, I imagine he must feel completely devastated to learn the boy's entry was accidental and not malicious in nature.
  • tooptimistic
    March 19, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Wow, he must have been very  drunk to not know where he lived.

    If someone broke into my house at 2 am, my husband would hold them at gunpoint.

  • Euphoric
    March 19, 2013 at 3:06 PM

     :( how sad.

  • pamelax3
    March 19, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    a very sad story..

  • Mrs.Kubalabuku
    March 19, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    I agree.

    We don't know what happened prior to the shooting.  Maybe the boy panicked and charged in a direction towards someone?  Maybe he got scared and being drunk acted aggressively?

    Yes, there are homeowners who will shoot on sight anything that goes bump in the night.  But most trained with proper gun use won't just shoot.  However, when they do shoot, they'll shoot to kill.  

    It does sound like the boy's family is at least acknowledging it was stupid decisions that led to this tragedy.  Let his story be a lesson for others who plan to sneak out drinking underage.

    I guess one thing that bothers me so greatly about the media though is that they use all these pictures showing these kids as young children.   Whenever a teen is killed like this, we hear how they were great kids, absolute angels, we're shown these pictures of them before puberty.  If all these kids were such sweet angels, they wouldn't be in these situations, kwim?  Not every teen that is gunned down is an angel.  Some are in gangs.  Some are robbers or rapists.  Some teens are just bad eggs for a variety of tragic reasons.

    I'm going to withold judgement on the homeowner for now.  I can say for my part, if I saw a person entering my home through a window in the middle of the night I would be prepared to use deadly force on him, be it a gun, a baseball bat, a sword, or anything I could.  If the situation permitted, I'd try to warn him off first.  But if not, I'd preserve my life and the lives of my children before asking questions.

    I guess what I picture in my head is the homeowner saying something, the boy getting startled and running in the wrong direction.  The man shoots, thinking the boy is charging.  A tragic end to a night of bad decisions.

    Quoting Sagely:

    Very sad. Taking the story at face value though, the homeowner did no wrong. It was just a very, very unfortunate situation.

    If someone breaks into my home, I do not intend to make sure they are there with ill intent before I take action to protect my family.

    That said, while I do feel the homeowner was totally justified, I imagine he must feel completely devastated to learn the boy's entry was accidental and not malicious in nature.



  • carlyshort
    March 19, 2013 at 3:37 PM
    Well, if i owned a gun and someone came into my house at 2am I would automatically assume they were there with malicious intent. I mean it is 2am and teenagers are not entirely innocent anymore.
    I don't own a gun but someone wakes me up at 2am in my home who shouldn't be there would be getting a bat to the face or a knife to the gut.
    I have babies to protect and that comes before asking questions first. If you're in my home uninvited at 2am..yeah.
    Sad story I feel for the families.
  • furbabymum
    March 19, 2013 at 3:58 PM

     Someone entering my house at 2am would probably get eaten by dogs. Unfortunate!

  • furbabymum
    March 19, 2013 at 4:00 PM

     My DH is always commenting on the media's smart usage of pictures. We had a drug related shooting in our town and the picture of the guy who was killed was like his senior picture. Looked like a real nice kid. You go to his facebook page and you could certainly tell he was on meth just from looking at him. It's funny how they didn't use that picture.

    Quoting Mrs.Kubalabuku:

    I agree.

    We don't know what happened prior to the shooting.  Maybe the boy panicked and charged in a direction towards someone?  Maybe he got scared and being drunk acted aggressively?

    Yes, there are homeowners who will shoot on sight anything that goes bump in the night.  But most trained with proper gun use won't just shoot.  However, when they do shoot, they'll shoot to kill.  

    It does sound like the boy's family is at least acknowledging it was stupid decisions that led to this tragedy.  Let his story be a lesson for others who plan to sneak out drinking underage.

    I guess one thing that bothers me so greatly about the media though is that they use all these pictures showing these kids as young children.   Whenever a teen is killed like this, we hear how they were great kids, absolute angels, we're shown these pictures of them before puberty.  If all these kids were such sweet angels, they wouldn't be in these situations, kwim?  Not every teen that is gunned down is an angel.  Some are in gangs.  Some are robbers or rapists.  Some teens are just bad eggs for a variety of tragic reasons.

    I'm going to withold judgement on the homeowner for now.  I can say for my part, if I saw a person entering my home through a window in the middle of the night I would be prepared to use deadly force on him, be it a gun, a baseball bat, a sword, or anything I could.  If the situation permitted, I'd try to warn him off first.  But if not, I'd preserve my life and the lives of my children before asking questions.

    I guess what I picture in my head is the homeowner saying something, the boy getting startled and running in the wrong direction.  The man shoots, thinking the boy is charging.  A tragic end to a night of bad decisions.

    Quoting Sagely:

    Very sad. Taking the story at face value though, the homeowner did no wrong. It was just a very, very unfortunate situation.

    If someone breaks into my home, I do not intend to make sure they are there with ill intent before I take action to protect my family.

    That said, while I do feel the homeowner was totally justified, I imagine he must feel completely devastated to learn the boy's entry was accidental and not malicious in nature.