Loudoun County sheriff says intruder shot and killed by homeowner was Park View High student
STERLING, Va. — Police say a Loudoun County teenager was shot and killed after he climbed into a neighbor’s home through a back window.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office believes the teen — identified Monday as 16-year-old Caleb Gordley, a junior at Park View High School — had been drinking with friends before entering the neighbor’s home on Pullman Court in Sterling about 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
It sounds like this was simply a case of a drunk teenager trying to sneak into his house after staying out too late partying, only in his altered state he tried sneaking into the wrong house. There's a comment to the effect of the home that the young man was sneaking into might have had a young lady present, but in either case - mistaken identity on the house, or amorous intent - it doesn't warrant the young man being called a goblin. That's just not right. Unless and until I hear evidence to the contrary, I can't in good conscience call this one for the DGC.
That's not to say the homeowner wasn't justified in the shooting, mind you. My heart positively breaks for everyone involved in this story, not just the parents of this young man, but also the homeowner who had to drop the hammer on what he thought was a criminal but turned out to be a neighborhood boy. I can't fault him, not for a second - remember, it was 2:30 in the morning and his home alarm is going off. He goes down to see what's happening and sees someone coming in through the window. Unfortunately, life isn't "The Sims" where everyone has a bubble over their head identifying them - and when you look like a home intruder, you're treated like a home intruder.
It's a terrible, tragic tale, and unless something dramatic comes to light I won't add this to the count. It seems like a horrible, stupid mistake for a young man to make, one that could easily have been made by a large number of people. I don't know that neighborhood, but I do know many neighborhoods where the houses all look pretty much the same as subdivisions go, and in the middle of the night, while under the influence of a few too many frosty adult beverages, I can totally understand why he might have tried the wrong window.
I think what's hardest here is that there's only one person to blame for this, and he has already paid the ultimate price. It's easy to blame the gun, or the alcohol, or the parents of the young man, or the homeowner who pulled the trigger. It's a lot harder to accept that a young man with a long, promising life ahead of him will grow no older because he made one seemingly small mistake - and it's tempting to look for something, or someone, else to blame. It's a sobering reminder of how the decisions we make - good, bad, or otherwise - can sometimes have ramifications that last an entire lifetime.
There are no winners in this story, and there are no goblins, either...
That is all.