A homeowner fired a warning shot before fatally shooting a teenage neighbor who had mistakenly entered the wrong house and triggered an alarm system, investigators said Thursday.
Caleb A. Gordley, 16, of Sterling, Va., mistakenly entered a neighbor’s home through an unlocked window after sneaking out of his own house in the early morning hours Sunday to drink alcohol with friends. Going to confront what he thought was an intruder, the homeowner gave a verbal warning and fired a shot, finally shooting the boy after he walked down a hallway toward an occupied bedroom, according to the Loudoun County sheriff's office.
“As the teenager proceeded up the stairwell and into a hallway, the homeowner discharged his firearm several times,” the sheriff's office said in a statement. “The teenager was struck once in the left rear shoulder after passing the homeowner in the hallway and walking towards an upstairs bedroom where other residents of the house were located.”
The sheriff's office released the additional details about the shooting Thursday, also noting that the .40 caliber pistol used was legally owned.
Once law enforcement officials are finished with the case, Loudoun County prosecutors will make a determination as to whether any criminal charges should be filed.
The Park View High School junior lived a few doors down from the house where he was killed, in the 45900 block of Pullman Court. Authorities said they had no indication the teen entered the home with intent to commit a crime, and the sheriff's office is still awaiting toxicology reports to determine whether alcohol played a factor in the teen’s actions.