A legally owned .40 caliber handgun was the weapon used in the fatal shooting of Park View High School student Caleb A. Gordley, who had entered a neighbors home around 2:30 a.m. Sunday and reportedly ignored repeated warning to stop, according to new information provided Thursday afternoon by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators are reviewing the case with the Loudoun Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, and no determination is expected before all related information has been reviewed, including the report from the medical examiner’s office.
The new LCSO information also reveals that Gordley, 16, was struck in the left rear shoulder.
According to the report, Gordley activated the alarm when he entered the home through a rear, unlocked window and continued climbing a staircase after an armed homeowner reportedly called out warnings and fired a warning shot. The homeowner did not recognize the teen, according to the report.
After the teenager reportedly passed the homeowner in a hallway and continued toward a bedroom where other residents were, the homeowner fired several times, striking the teen in the left rear shoulder, according the LCSO information. Gordley died at the scene.
The Sheriff’s Office indicated in its report that Gordley had been drinking with friends, but investigators are awaiting a report from the medical examiner’s office to determine the amount of alcohol in the teen’s bloodstream.
Officers responded March 17 to reports of a burglary on the 45900 block of Pullman Court in Sterling in which the homeowner discharged a firearm.
The new press release repeats Loudoun Sheriff Mike Chapman’s assertion that Gordley mistakenly entered the wrong home, just two doors down form his own. While such an entry is considered a crime, Chapman said the evidence indicates that Gordley had no further criminal intent.
“There does not seem to be any indication at this point that Caleb had gone in the house to commit any further crime,” Chapman said during a press conference earlier this week.
The investigation into the incident continues. Several shell casings and rounds were recovered at the scene. In addition, a separate investigation was opened to learn how the teens obtained alcohol the night before the incident.
Detectives met with members of Gorley’s family Wendesday to provide the latest information about what their investigation revealed. The homeowner and Gordley’s family remain cooperative in the investigation.
Gordley's parent told WJLA-7 on Tuesday that they believe it was an mistake and do not blame the homeowner (see accompanying video).
The case remains open pending a final report from the medical examiner’s office, including a toxicology report.