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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 (41-50):
futureshock
by Ruby Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 12:12 PM


Quoting EireLass:

We moved to this location 1 year ago. We have only met 1 neighbor. There are only 5 houses on the street....but very far apart from each other, you'd never see or hear someone out working in their yard. We have talked about the 'what ifs'. We have various weapons in our bedroom. Even if the 1 neighbor we've met, whom we like, appeared at the foot of our bed at 2am....yup, he's catching a bullet, or a baton to the head, or a taze to the torso. What's he doing in my bedroom at 2am, you know?

Quoting futureshock:

It is sad that neighbors don't even know each other any longer.  If they had been acquainted maybe the homeowner would have recognized this kid and brought him home.


I would hope I would not shoot a neighbor's child with whom I was acquainted.

furbabymum
by Gold Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 12:16 PM

 Could you really tell who it was in the pitch dark? I'm like EireLass. There are 3 houses on our street. If the moon isn't out it's pitch black. I'd see a shape in the dark but I'd have no idea who it was.

Quoting futureshock:


Quoting EireLass:

We moved to this location 1 year ago. We have only met 1 neighbor. There are only 5 houses on the street....but very far apart from each other, you'd never see or hear someone out working in their yard. We have talked about the 'what ifs'. We have various weapons in our bedroom. Even if the 1 neighbor we've met, whom we like, appeared at the foot of our bed at 2am....yup, he's catching a bullet, or a baton to the head, or a taze to the torso. What's he doing in my bedroom at 2am, you know?

Quoting futureshock:

It is sad that neighbors don't even know each other any longer.  If they had been acquainted maybe the homeowner would have recognized this kid and brought him home.


I would hope I would not shoot a neighbor's child with whom I was acquainted.

 

SuperChicken
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 12:26 PM
1 mom liked this

According to the Washington Post link in the OP, the man fired a warning shot and told him to leave, but he didn't stop coming, before he was actually shot.  

"The homeowner heard his burglar alarm sound, grabbed his gun and went to investigate. When the two met on the stairs inside the house, the man said he told the teen to leave and fired a warning shot, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation.

Caleb didn’t stop, and the home-owner fired again, striking and killing the teen, the official said."

Kelseyciarah
by Bronze Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 12:27 PM
1 mom liked this

 This was on my local news, I live near where this happened.

This is outrageous. Why was he a threat, there was ZERO reason to pull the trigger seeing as he was not holding a weapon or being threatening!

Sure, someone breaks into my place I would pull out a gun, but good grief THINK before you pull the trigger! So sad.

LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Mar. 20, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Guns don't kill people...

lga1965
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 12:33 PM

 

Quoting canadianmom1974:

I really, I mean really, honestly, don't understand the culture where the automatic response is to pull a gun and shoot blindly.

 i don't understand either.

lga1965
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 12:34 PM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting LindaClement:

Guns don't kill people...

 Stupid people with no consciences holding guns kill people.  :-/

LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Mar. 20, 2013 at 12:36 PM
1 mom liked this

Stupid people who expect stumbling and confused drunks to obey orders instantly ...

Quoting lga1965:

 

Quoting LindaClement:

Guns don't kill people...

 Stupid people with no consciences holding guns kill people.  :-/


Woodbabe
by Woodie on Mar. 20, 2013 at 12:40 PM
3 moms liked this

It was 2am, dark and there's a shrieking alarm going off. There's a drunk adult-sized person coming at you after coming into your home through a window. A warning shot isn't responded to.

Heartbreaking for this young man and his family, but I wouldn't press charges against this homeowner. He didn't know if this person was on some crazy drugs and that's why he was stumbling at him. If it was in the dark, he probably couldn't tell if he was armed.

This homeowner followed the rules, gave him two changes to stop with his verbal warning and a gunshot before he shot him.

I wish he'd have aimed for his leg instead but you're trained to aim at the body for self-defense. 

brookiecookie87
by Platinum Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 12:44 PM


Bullets kill people. Well not on their own. They need to be shot from a gun. Which is used by a person.

If that person instead of a gun had used a taser that kid would still be alive.
If that person instead of a gun used a bat that kid would still be alive.
If that person instead of a gun used a golf club that kid would sitll be alive.
If that person inated of a gun used a knife that kid would most likely still be alive.
In fact if that person isntead of a gun used anything else for protection that kid would most likely still be alive.

Now I am not blaming the family that killed him. It was 2am and if they felt threatened I could completely understand why they would fire first ask questions later.

But your statement doesn't make any sense.

Quoting LindaClement:

Guns don't kill people...



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If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

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