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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 (21-30):
talia-mom
by Gold Member on Mar. 19, 2013 at 6:04 PM
1 mom liked this
What did he do that is morally and ethically wrong?


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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dommad2
by Member on Mar. 19, 2013 at 6:07 PM
This is tragic for all parties involved! I feel really bad for the homeowner he must feel terrible.
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survivorinohio
by René on Mar. 19, 2013 at 6:09 PM
1 mom liked this

This is awful.  Another reason I hate developments where all the houses look the same.

So sad.

glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Mar. 19, 2013 at 6:13 PM

sad hope those local teens learn something from this.

canadianmom1974
by Gold Member on Mar. 19, 2013 at 6:21 PM
Ummm, shooting an innocent, unarmed person?

I also find the whole attitude of 'shoot first, ask questions later' to be morally suspect.


Quoting talia-mom:

What did he do that is morally and ethically wrong?




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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canadianmom1974
by Gold Member on Mar. 19, 2013 at 6:28 PM
Morally, ethically wrong? He may not have known the boy wasn't there with malicious intent, but he didn't know he was there with malicious intent. Shooting without knowing who or what you're shooting at is, at best irresponsible, and at worst criminal in my opinion.

Quoting Lizard_Lina:

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?



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canadianmom1974
by Gold Member on Mar. 19, 2013 at 6:29 PM
It is sad, and totally preventable from both sides.

Quoting btamilee:

 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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talia-mom
by Gold Member on Mar. 19, 2013 at 6:38 PM
2 moms liked this

How is what he did morally and ethically wrong if he feared this was a person intent on harming his family?



Quoting canadianmom1974:

Ummm, shooting an innocent, unarmed person?

I also find the whole attitude of 'shoot first, ask questions later' to be morally suspect.


Quoting talia-mom:

What did he do that is morally and ethically wrong?




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?



joyfree
by Silver Member on Mar. 19, 2013 at 6:42 PM
1 mom liked this

Poor kid. Poor family. Poor everybody involved...simple frown

canadianmom1974
by Gold Member on Mar. 19, 2013 at 6:44 PM
How is shooting an innocent, unarmed person not morally and ethically wrong? If it weren't wrong, why is everyone talking about how badly this man must be feeling?

The kid made a stupid mistake, everyone has made stupid mistakes - I've made lots of stupid mistakes. Luckily I've been around people who didn't decide to shoot me in response.


Quoting talia-mom:

How is what he did morally and ethically wrong if he feared this was a person intent on harming his family?




Quoting canadianmom1974:

Ummm, shooting an innocent, unarmed person?



I also find the whole attitude of 'shoot first, ask questions later' to be morally suspect.




Quoting talia-mom:

What did he do that is morally and ethically wrong?







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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