Parents Forgive Neighbor After Teen Son Accidentally Shot

A teen boy was tragically killed after sneaking into the wrong home after a night of out, but the boy’s parents forgive the neighbor who shot their son in error.

Caleb Gordley, 16, was shot to death Sunday in the home of a the people who lived two doors down from his parents, but the homeowner has not been formally identified in the media. Shawn and Jennea Gordley, Caleb’s parents, say they forgive the unnamed neighbor after the tragedy and explain their son was grounded and left without permission the night of the shooting.

Homes in the neighborhood in Sterling, Virginia in which Caleb was accidentally killed are nearly identical, and Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman called the events leading up to the shooting a “tragic set of circumstances,” adding that his “heart just breaks for this family.”

Caleb’s mother, Jennea, commented Tuesday on the weekend incident, saying she can’t “blame the gentleman” and admits she does not know what she would have done in the same scenario.

The Gordleys have only lived in the home since May, and, when Caleb returned back after his night out at about 2:30 am, it appears he was confused about which house was his.

Chapman says that it seems Caleb had no intentions to break into a stranger’s home and that the homeowner too is unlikely to have been at any sort of legal fault. The Sheriff explains that in “a nighttime intrusion, when it’s dark … there are two sides to this.”

While Caleb’s parents forgive the neighbor for the accidental shooting, his father adds that soul-searching has proven more painful after the boy’s death:

” … the more I looked for answers, the more it hurt. All the answers in the world are not going to bring him back.”

Shawn Gordley adds:

“We got 16 1/2 awesome years out of this young man … We could have had none.”