Yet, another tragedy has occurred because a homeowner had a gun in the house.
The Washington Post reported that 16 year old Caleb Gordley was fatally shot by his neighbor around 2 a.m. Sunday. Gordley had snuck out of the house Saturday night to attend a party after he was grounded for not cleaning his room. After drinking at the party, Gordley had to sneak back into the house so his friends helped him into the house through a back window. The problem was that Gordley had not entered his own house; he had instead entered the home of his neighbor two doors down.
What happened next was tragic.
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.http://www.washingtonpost.com/....
Caleb didn’t stop, and the homeowner fired again, striking and killing the teen, the official said.
It appears to me that Gordley was confused since he thought he was in his own house and was probably somewhat disoriented due to his drinking and that is why he didn't stop when asked to by his neighbor.
According to the article, both homes appear similar from the outside. According to Gordley's father,
“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.”http://www.washingtonpost.com/....
Based on the article, it appears that Gordley was not the type of teen that normally got into trouble. Gordley was a junior at the local high school where he played
football, basketball and baseball.
It is a shame that his life was cut short in this manner. According to a statement issued by Gordley's family:
“Between the darkness and him being under the influence of alcohol, his mistake turned into the ultimate tragedy.”http://www.washingtonpost.com/....
And his death would have most likely been avoided if there was not a firearm in the home of his neighbor.
This situation is a tragedy for all of those involved. Based on the article, it appears that the shooter barely knew Gordley and his family. It does not appear from the information learned so far that this was anything other than a tragic mistake. Although the shooter did not respond to requests from the reporter, I suspect that the shooter feels terrible about what happened. The shooter was described by other neighbors as a "good neighbor" and has been a volunteer firefighter for almost twenty years.