It all started with a party.
When 16-year-old Caleb Gordley was grounded because he didn’t clean his room, he snuck out of his Loudoun County, Virginia house to make sure he wouldn’t miss the festivities with his friends.
But a night that was supposed to be full of teenage fun ended up riddled with bullets and Caleb’s death.
According to the Washington Post:
When he left the party about 2 a.m., Caleb needed to sneak home. His friends dropped him off and helped hoist him through a back window. But Caleb had been drinking and had gone to the wrong house. The brick homes on his street are similar, and Caleb was two doors down from his own.
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.
Now, friends and family are trying to figure out how the star basketball player with good grades could have died in such a way. The house belonged to Donald West Wilder II, who, according to neighbors was a nice man that had volunteered as a firefighter for nearly two decades. Wilder has yet to speak to media.
“They have the exact same staircase as us, the exact same carpet. Caleb clearly thought he was in his own house,” said his father, Shawn Gordley, who provided the account of his son’s night. “He probably stumbled around and was just trying to go to his room.”
No charges have been filed. Virginia law is largely silent on when a homeowner can shoot an intruder, but the police say the investigation continues.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Caleb’s family and friends.
SOURCE: Washington Post