(AP/ABC7) The parents of a teenager who was fatally shot after he mistakenly entered a neighbor's home after a night of drinking say they forgive the shooter.
"I just want you to know I forgive you. I understand this was an accident," Jennae Gordley, the teen's mother says.
Shawn and Jennea Gordley remembered their 16-year-old son Caleb on Tuesday as a lover of music and sports.
"We got 16-and-a-half awesome years out of that young man. And I will hold on to that," said Shawn Gordley, the teen's father.
Police say Caleb was fatally shot early Sunday after entering a neighbor's home through a back window.
Gordley said his son snuck out of the house Saturday night and went drinking with friends. They walked home from the party and Caleb went in through a back window, mistaking the neighbor's house for his own. Caleb had lived in his home for less than a year and the houses look similar.
Before the shooting, an alarm was activated inside the home, and the homeowner says he discovered 16-year-old Caleb A. Gordley on the stairwell.
On Tuesday both parents said they do not blame the shooter for what happened.
Gordley said on his Twitter account his son entered the neighbor's house by mistake and was simply confused.
"I'm praying he wasn't scared at that moment," Shawn Gordley.
Gordley’s parents said they are very displeased with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s office for allegedly giving very little information about the shooting.
They called it unacceptable and irresponsible for the authorities to share so little information and added that they learned more from social media than from police.
Neighbors say the homeowner is a volunteer firefighter. When ABC7 called the closest firehouse, the person who answered said no one was permitted to say anything.
The Loudoun County Sheriff's office released the following statement to ABC7's Jeff Goldberg:
The LCSO offers it’s condolences to the family and friends of Caleb Gordley, and continues to investigate this incident. The LCSO only disseminates accurate information to the family and to the public, as it becomes available.
There is a lot of speculation and rumor in this case, and we are working on sorting out the facts. It would be irresponsible to put out information that’s not verified.
The LCSO has consistently been in regular contact with Caleb’s family, and will continue to meet with and update them as information regarding the case develops.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the details of the case will be reviewed with the Commonwealth’s Attorney and shared with the families involved.
Gordley’s father says a life celebration will be held Thursday at the Elks Lodge,located at 401 W. Holly Ave. from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. He adds all are welcome.