The parents of a young man shot dead by a neighbor have said they forgive the neighbor for his actions and don't know what they would have done in the same situation. Caleb Gordley, 16, was shot and killed by a neighbor after he mistakenly entered the wrong home after a night of drinking.
"I just want you to know I forgive you. I understand this was an accident," Jennae Gordley, Caleb's mother, said at a press conference. "I don't even blame the gentleman. I don't know what I would have done," she added.
Caleb reportedly snuck out of his own home in order to attend a party and drink with his friends. Unfortunately, when he tried to sneak back into the home, it was the wrong one. He actually broke into the home of his neighbor who lived two doors down but had a similar-style home.
The homeowner called 911 and, possibly without approval from the dispatcher, confronted a drunken Caleb and shot him. It's unknown what transpired between the time of the phone call and the shooting; it's entirely possible that the homeowner somehow felt threatened, that he needed to protect himself, though that has not been confirmed.
"I'm praying he wasn't scared at that moment," Shawn Gordley, Caleb's father, said.
He is "very displeased" with the amount of information the Loudon County Sheriff's office is giving them and commented that he learned more from the media than he did from the authorities.
"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 Sheriff's Office said in a statement given to ABC7 News.
"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," the Office added. No charges have been filed in the case, which is being viewed as an accident.
"We got 16 ½ awesome years out of this young man. We could have had none," Shawn said. They are focusing on the time they had with their son rather than his tragic and untimely death.
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