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Teen fatally shot when he mistakenly went into wrong house

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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.

 

 

by on Mar. 19, 2013 at 2:50 PM
Replies (11-20):
mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Mar. 19, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Well, this didn't need to happen. 

Aislinn
by Silver Member on Mar. 19, 2013 at 4:01 PM
1 mom liked this

 I had a friend near beaten to death when he got drunk and wandered into the wrong house. It took him two years to recover. However, he went into the house and refused to leave. When he got heated, the homeowner got a bat. I have a fear of something like this happening with someone in my extended family. I keep my fingers crossed and I refuse to go to their house at night, unannounced, even though they encourage and want people to drop it, call or no call.

sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Mar. 19, 2013 at 4:44 PM

 The people who chose the pictures are family members. Looks like the pics are right off the walls.

Quoting furbabymum:

 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.

 

 

 

 

wenchmommy381
by Wenchy on Mar. 19, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Agreed. 

Tragic all around. 

Quoting mehamil1:

Well, this didn't need to happen. 


Wenchmommy381, International Wenches Guild

"I know that something very strange Is happening to my brain.
I'm either feeling very good Or else I am insane.
The seeds of doubt you planted Have started to grow wild
And I feel that I must yield before The wisdom of a child.
And it's love you bring,
No, that I can't deny
With your wings,
I can learn to fly,
Sweet young thing."
--M Nesmith
stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Mar. 19, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Sad.

canadianmom1974
by Gold Member on Mar. 19, 2013 at 5:42 PM
Ridiculous. A kid made a stupid mistake and is now dead. Legally that homeowner may not have done anything wrong, but morally, ethically? I wonder how hard it is to live with the knowledge you shot an innocent person?
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Mrs.Kubalabuku
by Bronze Member on Mar. 19, 2013 at 5:44 PM


I guess it gets more attention when you think of it as a tragic death.  In this story, yes, I bet it was a tragic situation.  Teens make mistakes, and it sounds like he made a mistake and paid the ultimate for what most teens would survive to laugh off someday.

But in most cases, you see a "thug" or obvious drug addict, and nobody would really care.  They'd cheer the homeowner for saving the tax payers from paying his room and board.  The media gets more attention as people start the gun debate.

Quoting furbabymum:

 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.



 



Schleetle
by on Mar. 19, 2013 at 5:46 PM
That is sad all around. I can't imagine how either family is feeling right now.
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Lizard_Lina
by Silver Member on Mar. 19, 2013 at 5:50 PM
1 mom liked this
Morally and ethically what? If they knew he was not there for malicious intent and shot him anyway then I would be on your side with this. But they didn't. All they knew was at 2 am someone broke in their house. They were probably barely awake and panicked. They probably feel awful about what happened.



Quoting canadianmom1974:

Ridiculous. A kid made a stupid mistake and is now dead. Legally that homeowner may not have done anything wrong, but morally, ethically? I wonder how hard it is to live with the knowledge you shot an innocent person?


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
btamilee
by Silver Member on Mar. 19, 2013 at 5:54 PM

 I cannot imagine how the neighbor must feel.   I would think that it would change his life forever.  Its a very sad situation for all involved.  NONE of us know anything about this man, or his morals or ethics, so I don' t feel its necessary to judge him on either of those issues.  I would like to think that when he went to bed that night, he expected to get a good nighst sleeps, tucked safely in his own bed and had no knowlege of the tragic accident that would happen in the early morning hours...its all just very sad.

Quoting canadianmom1974:

Ridiculous. A kid made a stupid mistake and is now dead. Legally that homeowner may not have done anything wrong, but morally, ethically? I wonder how hard it is to live with the knowledge you shot an innocent person?


 

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