The Washington Post

No charges in death of Sterling teen who entered wrong house

The home where Caleb Gordley was shot. It's one house over from Gordley’s home on Pullman Court. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

No criminal charges will be filed in the case of a teenager who was fatally shot March 17 after he mistakenly entered a neighbor’s home, according to a statement Tuesday by the Loudoun County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.

The incident occurred about 2:30 a.m. on Pullman Court in Sterling, when 16-year-old Caleb Gordley was dropped off by friends after attending a party where he drank alcohol, authorities have said. Caleb accidentally entered a house two doors from his own home by climbing through a back window, police said.

The homeowner, Donald West Wilder II, shot and killed Caleb after Wilder was awakened by the home’s burglar alarm, according to authorities. Officials have said the two families did not know one another.

According to the commonwealth attorney’s office, authorities conducted a thorough review of all evidence before determining that no charges would be pursued – including statements of witnesses, 911 recordings, physical evidence from the scene, medical reports and forensic laboratory reports.

“Staff members with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Section and Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office have discussed the incident in detail with family members of the deceased to ensure that all of their questions have been answered regarding the incident,” the statement said.

Caleb Gordley (Family Photo )

No detailed public report will be issued out of respect for the privacy of Caleb and his family, the statement said.

Caleb, a junior at Park View High School in Sterling, was an avid athlete who had never been in trouble, according to his family.

Caitlin Gibson is a local news and features writer for The Washington Post.


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