Intruder Fatally Shot By Homeowner Identified - Leesburg Today Online—Daily News Coverage of Loudoun County, Leesburg, Ashburn: News

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Intruder Fatally Shot By Homeowner Identified

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Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2013 9:33 am

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.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • swleesburgva posted at 11:09 am on Wed, Mar 20, 2013.

    swleesburgva Posts: 26

    A tragedy from many perspectives.

    Let the Sheriff do a full and comprehensive investigation:

    Was this the first time the 16 year old came home drunk? at 2:30 am?

    Did his "friends" purposely guide him to enter the wrong house?

  • Downtowner posted at 9:54 am on Wed, Mar 20, 2013.

    Downtowner Posts: 24

    Several folks have tried to simplify this by choosing to blame one person or the other here but as in as in most "accidents" there are multiple errors that could have avoided the outcome even though legally someone will be found "at fault". Ultimately, I'm not sure who is more pitiful here. The drunk teenager that accidentally entered the wrong house and got killed or the anxious homeowner with poor impulse control who fatally shot his kid neighbor. Tragic example of poor judgement for both parties.

  • sickoftheBLAME posted at 8:13 am on Tue, Mar 19, 2013.

    sickoftheBLAME Posts: 1

    It sickens me to read all the finger pointing that is going on here with a life lost. I bet 90 % of you never knew this kid and yet, you are all forming random opinions of him and about him as a person. This is typical of Loudoun County adults. Let us make sure SOME person gets blamed. How about the community get together and use this tragic loss of life as an example to ALL of the other kids who are out drinking and doing stupid things. I think effort into that is much better than assigning blame on any single person. I can assure you that many of us as teenagers snuck out at night and ran the neighborhood. Trouble is, that was a different time. Crime was not running society. Neighbors actually knew each other, parents looked out not only for their kids, but the other kids as well. Let us not lose focus on the real thing that has taken place......death. There are no do- overs in that. Can't drop an extra golf ball and take another shot. There is not that extra pitch that you foul off. No extra shot because you got fouled doing your layup. Death is final, and in this case all around...tragic. I am sure Caleb had no intent on causing harm. I am sure the owner of the house had no intention of killing a teenage neighbor. Hug your children today, tell them you love them. As is this case, tomorrow you might not have that chance.
    One final thing, to honor both of them( the owner and Caleb) how about we end this debate.

  • myownsense posted at 6:11 am on Tue, Mar 19, 2013.

    myownsense Posts: 91

    @Jamrock813: Is that your reliable source?. Bad break-ups sometimes cause people to say and do stupid things.

  • Jamrock813 posted at 10:19 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    Jamrock813 Posts: 1

    Did a search on the guy on google and this is interesting.

  • Frank Reynolds posted at 8:12 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    Frank Reynolds Posts: 661

    Exactly BLKMGK. The homeowner was upstairs, looking at someone at the base of his staircase that broke into his home. He has a daughter up there. He doesn't know this intruder's motive. He doesn't know if he is armed. He just knows he has nowhere left to retreat. The homeowner was forced to act. It isn't like he put bait on the window to get someone to come in. I'm going to bet he would have preferred to not fire his gun that night. How do the people here calling him a "gun nut" know what the man did to try and avoid using it? If he indeed shot a warning shot, then I don't know how much clearer you can make the situation.

    Don't blame the guns. Don't blame the guy forced to react to a bad situation. Blame what caused the situation in the first place. A drunk person making a bad decision.

  • BLKMGK posted at 7:44 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    BLKMGK Posts: 1

    It's a shame this happened but at 2:30am with an alarm blaring and an intruder coming up the stairs towards inhabitants the homeowner did the right thing. Shoot to wound?! Nope, that leaves a lawsuit waiting to happen in this country and for a homeowner protecting themselves that's not a good option. He climbed in a window, ignored an alarm, and he paid the price. Tell us he was a good kid all you want but where were his "friends" when he got so drunk and stupid? Frankly I feel bad for the homeowner who now has a death on his hands. He did the right thing but I'm sure he will question his actions. He had no way to know what this intruder wanted and he had no way to know he wasn't hopped up on way worse than alcohol either - he likely felt he had no choice. That he even fired a warning shot shows great restraint. It's a terrible shame that a life was lost but we could all just as easily be crying for an entire family dead from a home invasion wishing there had been some defense in the home. Hopefully this will be a lesson to his peers about responsible behavior.

  • JayBird posted at 7:41 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    JayBird Posts: 2

    Look, everyone, I would greatly appreciate it if the comments would stop from here on out for the pain you are ALL causing is more than any of you can comprehend. Yes, I am aware that the kid (Caleb) was but a teenager with the possession of alcohol, but regardless, there really is no blame to be made. Another kid (one who I will not inform you all of) actually LEFT Caleb on his own, forcing him to walk home while he was intoxicated. Believe it or not, children his age are bound to drink. Do not lie and state that none of you haven't. You were just lucky enough not to waltz into someone else's house and get shot. So I would suggest before making a post, think about clearly and rationally. I know my post itself before this one is not a great example, but I have collected myself, and now I am willing to rationalize. It was a mistake nonetheless, and a lot of people were hurt. Not only that, but this man -- considering that he had no intent to kill someone, mind you, just severely injure them -- has to live with the pain of knowing that he murdered another person. I don't know about all of you, but I'd feel a great deal of regret and grief for having killed a high school student. I still, however, get the fact that he technically did break and enter into another man's house. Perhaps it is because he was one of my good friends that I stood by him without a second's thought, but come to think of it, there really is no wrong or right side. In the end, he was shot and killed, and he isn't coming back. Put aside the right to bear arms. An innocent teenager was killed for making a mistake. Something we happen to all do. Every last one of you. So please, stop. Thank you.

  • ThreeSons posted at 5:47 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    ThreeSons Posts: 15

    Very, very sad for all involved. Remember as you comment that many people drank or stayed out late before turning 21, that does not mean that they deserved to lose their life, simply that they made some stupid decisions - just as you do every day that you speed, use your phone while driving, or eat in your car. It is very hard to believe that the shooter could not have wounded or otherwise incapacitated the teen rather than making the decision to end his life while waiting for the 911 call to be answered.

  • average_joe posted at 5:01 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    average_joe Posts: 23

    Some of you really need to do some research on the number of violent crimes are committed by drunk or drug influenced teens. 30 maybe 50 years ago, yea, take him by the hand and let the deputy take him home. Now days, absolutely not. I am no longer willing to take the chance. My baseball bat would have made him a drooling vegetable. After living through a break-in that injured my wife and scared both my children so bad that took thousands of dollars of therapy just to get my kids not scared to leave our side, I will never be a victim like that again. I pray that you never have to feel the way my family felt. Walk in the victims shoes and the situation looks slightly different than just some innocent person not meaning any harm. There are consequences to ones actions. Society has this misconception that it is always someone else's fault. Every decision has a consequence, choose your actions wisely.

  • usmc323 posted at 4:55 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    usmc323 Posts: 3

    @kathleen - if there were no guns in the home, an entire family could be dead. You break into my house at 2:30 in the morning, you be leaving in a body bag too. Do NOT vilanize the homeowner. Remember the Petit Family? read below.

  • usmc323 posted at 4:49 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    usmc323 Posts: 3

    Jabird - sorry for your loss, but you can only blame one person here. And that is NOT the homeowner. let this be a lesson to you and your fellow classmates. What you do when you are drunk at night could lead to the ultimate price, your life.

    @ jaybird: At 16 you are old enough to know right from wrong. No one puts that drink in your hand and forces it down your throat. Far too many 16 yo's committing crimes today which are just as bad as the worst of them. Unfortunately for your friend, going through a window into someone's home at 2:30 in the morning caused him his life.

    You are lashing out at the wrong persons. First try the parents that let him out that late and Second blame yourselfs for allowing underage kids from drinking. You want to make a difference? Educate your HS body on the dangers of drinking. People do some dumb stuff when drunk.. rape, robbery, drugs, break ins, joy ride, etc..

  • usmc323 posted at 4:35 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    usmc323 Posts: 3

    In the last week alone, 6 killed - as they drive car and crash into lake - later to find out that the underage passengers were at a party drinking and in a stolen car, a 16 yo and 17 yo charged with Rape in Ohio, 19 yo attempts theft of police car, MS13 gang members roles grow in NoVa, Rash of thefts in Leesburg. I can go on and on.

    Do not blame the homeower, first and foremost that "almost" adult had no business being in this home, crawling through a window at 2 am. Second, he had no business drinking and third, he had no business being out that late.

    Where are the parents in all this? We no longer care about where are kids are and what they are doing late at night. What happened to him, albeit a tragedy was brought on by HIS actions and only his actions. Had he been sober, in his own home, he would be alive today.

    People need to start taking responsiblity for their own actions and stop blaming the guy asleep in his own home, whose alarm goes off and there is an intruder in his home. He was dropped off at his house and then went two doors down to crawl in a window?

    I would have done EXACTLY the same thing. Maybe what we should be concerned about is how parents FAIL to raise their children properly.

  • hubba bubba posted at 4:33 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    hubba bubba Posts: 440

    How tragic is this? Parents you need to know where your kids are .... doesn't matter that they are in high school. Homeowners you need to lock all your windows at night so "intruders" don't have easy access. Wishing the homeowner was a rotten shot and only had managed to wound him. Senseless tragedy.......

  • SterlingGuy posted at 4:26 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    SterlingGuy Posts: 1

    I feel really bad for the family of this young kid. While it is a tragedy, young kids need to learn to make better choices or things like this will happen. I trust he is not 21 if he is still in HS. So, how did he get beer? Where was he drinking? Did he drive home or was he let off by a friend and if so were they drinking? Many, many questions. There should not be a day in his honor nor should there be a street named after him. His name needs to be used as an example of why it is not wise to drink while underage. Not to say that 21 year olds and older make better choices but there is a consequence if you drink too much. Sad for the family and the neighbor but this is a lesson learned.

  • KathleenVS posted at 4:15 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    KathleenVS Posts: 28

    If there were no guns in the house, a drunk 16 year old would have been taken home by the Sheriff's Department. No one would be DEAD.

  • BernieGetz posted at 4:07 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    BernieGetz Posts: 2

    @That_Guy thanks for the clarification. In that case, its as strong a case as I've heard against 16 year old kids getting drunk and breaking into houses of paranoid homeowners just looking for an excuse to shoot someone.

    I mean...I don't care how drunk you are, I have a hard time believing the kid wouldn't have run for the hills had he had time to process the fact there he was staring down the barrel of a gun and that the alarm already had summoned Loudoun's finest. The survival instinct is pretty strong. Sounds like the killer didn't really allow enough it to kick in. Guns tend to turn stressful, yet resolvable situations into deadly ones.

  • That Guy posted at 3:45 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    That Guy Posts: 50


    The houses really even don't look the same (see the Washington Post article)

  • That Guy posted at 3:44 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    That Guy Posts: 50

    "your pretty stupid."

    It's 'you're'.

  • BernieGetz posted at 3:07 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    BernieGetz Posts: 2

    This is as strong a case against cookie cutter McMansions as I've ever heard.

  • average_joe posted at 3:06 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    average_joe Posts: 23

    Charles Manson, Son of Sam, Unibomber, Newton Elementary Shooter, all someones inocent son. I taught my children that if they are going to play big kid games, they need to be prepared to pay big kid prices. Why are juniors in high school drinking? Was he 21? tlovely4u stated it could be a prank. My heart bleeds for the teens parents. I also feel for the home owner. I own guns for my protection. I pray every night that I never have to use my gun in self defense. At the same time you better bet your sweat bippy I would rather shoot someone else than have one of my loved ones harmed.
    I am so tired of these people that break the law being pittied after they pay the consequences for their actions. Violent crimes are being committed by younger and younger people every year. Had this intruder harmed the homeowner and his daughter, should the sherrifs office let him go scott free because after all, it was just a prank?

  • Cmckeonjr posted at 2:26 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    Cmckeonjr Posts: 360

    Naive men bringing guns into homes think they are "protecting," but they increase the risk of death to everyone in the home–most of all, by far, to themselves (impulsive suicide), but also their partners (suicide and homicide), children, and visitors. They–not an "invader"–are the ones most likely to die from the gun. Homes with no guns in them are safer places to live and visit.

  • ashburnmommy posted at 2:09 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    ashburnmommy Posts: 1

    Sad sad sad. I feel horrible for both the family of the high school student and that of the homeowner. Although I wouldnt use harsh words like "he deserved" to get shot, I have to agree that unfortunately when you enter someones home at 2am, bad things are going to happen. This is a crazy world we live in and the odds of someone just playing a "prank" or entering your house by "accident" are slim. I personally have a 2 year old son that I'm responsible for so if the same situation happened in my home, I would more than likely react the same.

  • comment82 posted at 1:44 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    comment82 Posts: 1

    @tlovely4u....ummmmmmm shut up! "how you know he was trying harm anyone?!!"[wink] Are you serious? I assume you aren't on a debate team, or perhaps you live in Caralot with the Care Bears? Where every intruder is magical and only breaks into your house to make you laugh, because he is only making a simple prank! YEAHHHH your pretty stupid.

  • aussymom posted at 11:05 am on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    aussymom Posts: 92

    Last week at 3:30 am someone was outside my house in Leesburg, my very loud dog scared them off running. Guns were all locked up in the safe. As the police have told me she is my best alarm system. So sorry for the young mans family :(

  • hereandthere posted at 9:10 am on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    hereandthere Posts: 5

    The homeowner heard the break in. The guy was coming up the stairs. The homeowner had called 911 and left the line open. He fired a warning shot and told the person not to come any further. When that didn't work, he shot him. This is no prank. This was no mistake. It sucks that it was a teen but when it's dark and 2:30 in the morning, you don't have time to ascertain who it is. He had his warning and then he got shot. He shouldn't need a warning. Prank or not, you break into someone's home, you risk getting shot. You're out of your mind if you think I'm going to waste my time asking and intruder 21 questions about who they are. You have one warning to get the f**** out of my house. If you come at me, you're going to get shot. Bravo to that homeowner.

  • justme2 posted at 6:47 am on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    justme2 Posts: 2

    sad to say but the homeowner was right in what he did he was not an alleged intruder he was an intruder at 230 in the morning and he paid the ultimate price people in their right mind dont break into peoples houses prank or dare whatever sorry if a teen lost his life but when intruders kill families its more sad because you think youre safe in your home and someone invades it you have that right...other people thinking about breaking in?lesson learned

  • Double T posted at 10:39 pm on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    Double T Posts: 1

    @The Shooter, Messed up name, but i have to agree with you. He had all the reason to do what he did. If anyone says other wise is just not seeing it in a reasonable point of view. End of story.

  • ladiesman217 posted at 10:22 pm on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    ladiesman217 Posts: 1

    if i had a son and he broke into someones house and was killed because of it yes i'd be sad but i'd also be very disappointed and ashamed of him. yes it is sad that a boy was killed but there's no reason he should be seen as innocent. he committed a felony

  • The Shooter posted at 10:14 pm on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    The Shooter Posts: 1

    I completely condone the shooters actions. If someone were to break into my house and I was fearing for the safety of my wife and kids, I would've done the exact same thing.

  • dragonslayer225 posted at 9:49 pm on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    dragonslayer225 Posts: 1

    @tlovely4u: I have literally never seen a more poorly constructed argument as that in my life. What kind of house prank entails breaking into someone's house? That's not a prank, that's breaking and entering and it's against the law. Does it really matter if he was armed or not? The house owner was smart to shoot, he had no idea if the kid was armed or not and he wasn't gonna wait around and find out, because at that point it could be too late. Imagine yourself in this situation. It's 2:30 AM and a stranger breaks into your house. Are you gonna sit around and have a good laugh at his "prank"? No, you would take desperate measures to protect your family and yourself. The fact of the matter is that this kid broke into a house and got his comeuppance.

  • tlovely4u posted at 9:34 pm on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    tlovely4u Posts: 2

    How do you people know he was trying to harm anyone!!!!???? hows that protecting your family??? there was no one home im guessing, judging by the information above.Makes no sense to shoot a kid when he didn't attack. id like to see how u people react if u had a kid probably messing around in someones house and all of a sudden they get shot for no reason. -.- you all say that u glad he got shot but just wait till it be your child! u all would be crying your butts off saying oh my child isnt like that, he didnt mean no harm. this boy was innocent his life shouldnt have end that way over a (maybe)a teen prank .

  • tlovely4u posted at 9:25 pm on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    tlovely4u Posts: 2

    this is not good the boy just a kid! he probably was just doing a house harm who knows..the owner shouldn't have shot the boy. Now because of that jack***, the boys family has to live with broken hearts of there loss. it doesn't even say the boy was armed or attacked the owner so why should the owner shot him? makes no sense to shoot a boy who probably meant no harm . its just teens fooling around no need to shoot them call there parents or the police instead.

  • BryanW posted at 9:18 pm on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    BryanW Posts: 1

    Again, you don't know every single detail. He goes to my school as well and even though I didn't know him extremely well, I still knew him. This was a human life lost this morning and people are behind the shooter. The kid had a family and friends and now its all gone. Like @JayBird said imagine your family member doing this and now they're gone. Can't come back, ever. Also, words ARE powerful, so be careful how you use them.

  • ThienDang posted at 9:13 pm on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    ThienDang Posts: 1

    @luckyladie: I really despite the way you word the comment. Your so insensitive to the situation that you have to post something that is that disrespectful. Didn't your mom tell you? If you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all. I really

  • Frank Reynolds posted at 9:04 pm on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    Frank Reynolds Posts: 661

    Has to be a troll post there.

    Good for the homeowner. If someone that doesn't live there is in the house at 2:30AM, they are up to no good, plain and simple. The intruder either needs to make a dash for the door and/or start explaining himself real fast with his hands up. In the absence of that, the armed homeowner is only left to decide on his own if this guy intends to hurt him.

    If I remember correctly, the case law in Virginia shows you have to determine a threat. Some old lady wanders into your unlocked screen door at 1PM, no real threat. Some man busting his way in at 2:30 AM should be enough "threat" to warrant the use of force.

  • JayBird posted at 8:46 pm on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    JayBird Posts: 2

    @LuckyLadie: How dare you. How dare you say something like that. This kid goes to my SCHOOL, do you understand? I know far more information than you do and to make assumptions that it was merely breaking and entering is screwed up. He was one of my best friends, got it? You know nothing of the situation nor do you have the right to say such a thing about someone who was significant to other people. Imagine a family member of that boy coming on to site and seeing that comment? Do you realize how much you could/would hurt someone? Words are dangerous, keep that in mind before you go posting around that the homeowner had EVERY RIGHT to shoot a boy who may very well be innocent. Back off.

  • leesburgboy posted at 1:01 pm on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    leesburgboy Posts: 123

    To all of the non gun owning patrons of Loudoun County, and elsewhere in the USA who are trying to take away my right to defend my family, I don't wish this situation on you, but hope you have a similar experience so that you will understand the need to protect your interests in particular the life of your family while you lay your head to sleep. I pray for the family of the deceased and hope it wasn't some drunken person thinking he was trying to get into his own residence. to all the liberal anti-gun folks, please remain silent on the matter as you will only comment on the lunatics of the world. our government purposely does not keep statistics on law abiding incidents since it would defeat their purpose, which is to further control us.

  • LuckyLadie posted at 11:22 am on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    LuckyLadie Posts: 1

    good for the homeowner...he was protecting what is his. This is the reason we have the right to bear arms..