Home / News / What Are Your Thoughts on This? (Castle Doctrine Discussion)

What Are Your Thoughts on This? (Castle Doctrine Discussion)

Earlier tonight, this article linked on another website I frequent. I was surprised by the responses from some of those who commented. I’d be interested to hear your take on it, whether the homeowner was in the right, or if some other sort of intervention should have been taken.

Article credit: Claudine Zap – The Lookout

A 16-year-old who lived in Loudoun County, Va., was shot and killed when he accidentally entered the wrong house.

Caleb Gordley, a popular athlete who had been living in a brick house with his parents and sister for about a year, sneaked out of his house to go to a party with friends after he’d been grounded for not cleaning his room.

When he returned around 2 a.m. he slipped into the house he thought was his. Friends said he had been drinking and mistook his neighbor’s similar house two doors down for his own and climbed in through the back window.

When the burglar alarm sounded, the homeowner treated Caleb as an intruder, and shot and killed him.

Caleb’s father, Shawn Gordley, told The Washington Post, “They have the exact same staircase as us, the exact same carpet. Caleb clearly thought he was in his own house.” He added, “He probably stumbled around and was just trying to go to his room.”

At Sterling Park High school in Sterling, Va., students mourned the loss of a talented athlete. The coach of the basketball team, Mike Koscinski, who had advanced Caleb to varsity this year, said of the junior, “He was the hype man. He got everyone hyped up before games.”

A statement from the family reads, “Between the darkness and him being under the influence of alcohol, his mistake turned into the ultimate tragedy.”

Police are continuing to investigate the shooting, but Virginia law gives “wide latitude to people who fear for their safety when someone breaks into their homes,” according to The Washington Post.

This is a terrible situation all the way around, but I’m interested to hear whether or not you feel the homeowner acted with the correct amount of force, or not. Hit up the comments below, and let me know what you think.


About Lucas

Editor/Head Honcho at Triangle Tactical. Lucas is a life long shooter and outdoorsman, avid concealed carrier and competitive shooter, and a lover of pork fat.


  1. He broke into a house. His intentions are moot. He placed the family under reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury and paid the price for it.

    Some mistakes are fatal.

  2. A very tragic situation. If someone broke into my house at 2am, I don’t know that I would give them much a chance to Kill me before I shot them! I know that just having somebody knock on the front door at 2 AM is enough to put me on high alert. Having someone breaking into my house would have to ramp that adrenaline up quite a bit. The man has a right to protect himself and his family and that is what he did. Still a tragic story!

  3. Tragic story but there was a whole lot of stupid going on around here imho.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.