A homeowner shot and killed an intruder early Sunday morning in Sterling, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, and the victim has been confirmed to be a Park View High School student.
The sheriff's office has confirmed the victim was Caleb A. Gordley, a junior at Park View, who lived down the street from the home in which he was shot.
Around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, deputies responded to a home in the 45900 block of Pullman Court in Sterling's Lochewood Manor neighborhood for reports of a burglary in process with shots fired, according to sheriff's office spokesperson Liz Mills.
"The resident reported the house alarm was activated," Mills said, "and he went to investigate and found an unknown male in the stairwell."
Gordley was shot by the homeowner and died at the scene. He had apparently been drinking that evening with friends, Mills said, but the sheriff's office could not yet confirm he was intoxicated.
"The sheriff's office is awaiting a final report from the medical examiner's office, including a toxicology report," she said.
Mills said the sheriff's office could not yet confirm widespread reports that Gordley entered the home accidentally, confusing it for his own. The investigation has revealed that a rear window of the home was found open--not broken--and it is believed to have been how Gordley got into the house.
The sheriff's office also could not confirm reports and statements that the homeowner fired a "warning shot" before shooting Gordley.
According to social media accounts, students are wearing orange and black today in Gordley's honor and a memorial was held this morning before school began.
No charges have been filed and investigators have not released the name of the homeowner.
Virginia law allows for deadly force to be used to defend life, but requires "reasonable fear of an imminent threat." A law that would have allowed the use of deadly force against a home intruder, known as the Castle Doctrine, was passed last year, but ultimately was not made into law after fears were raised it might impact common law already in effect.
Anyone with information about the shooting who has not spoken with investigators are asked to call the sheriff's office Criminal Investigation Division at 703-777-0475.