The parents of a teen who was shot and killed when he drunkenly entered a neighbor's home and was mistaken for an intruder believe it was murder, not self-defense.
After a night of drinking, Caleb Gordley, 16, was killed when he entered a home near his own in Sterling, Va. The homeowner believed Gordley was a burglar and fired his gun at the teen several times.
Gordley's parents initially forgave the shooter, Donald West Wilder, but new details in the police report, released to them nearly five months after the incident, have changed their minds.
“At no point, from the homeowner's...testimony, the account of the events, did he ever describe Caleb in any way being aggressive,” Shawn Gordley, Caleb Gordley’s father, told ABC News’ “20/20.”
An autopsy report also confirmed that Caleb Gordley died from a gunshot wound to the back.
“He shot him in the back,” Caleb Gordley’s mother, Jennea Gordley, who is divorced from his father, told “20/20.” “If you're really in fear of danger of your life and your family's life, why would you allow a person...that appeared to be dazed to you, walk right past you and then you shoot him in the back?”
Caleb Gordley had just been grounded for a week several days before he was killed in March 2013. The popular student-athlete and aspiring rapper was never much of a partier, but was itching to get out of the house by the end of the week. He even tweeted throughout the day saying, “Honestly who’s throwin a party tonight?!” and “Somebody make a party right now. I’m tryna to have fun tonight no lie.”
“He’s not much of a drinker, but he just wanted to try some that night,” Kory Carico, Caleb Gordley’s good friend, who was with him the night he died, told “20/20.”
At midnight on Saturday night, Caleb Gordley slipped out of his father’s upscale suburban home and headed for a friend’s house a few blocks away. For two hours, the teens tossed back vodka shots. By 2 a.m., a woozy Caleb Gordley decided it was time to go home before his dad noticed he was gone.
“He got pretty drunk,” Carico said. “I took him back to my house, and I was going to make him stay there, but...He knew he had to get home. I knew that for sure. He kept bothering us about it.”
Carico helped a seriously impaired Caleb Gordley walk home to the quiet cul-de-sac where the houses look nearly identical.
“I’ve never come in the back way before, but the houses look similar, so I figured it was his house because he thought it was his house, too,” Carico said.
Caleb Gordley climbed in through the window of the house he thought was his. “The alarm went off, and then I saw the light come on,” Carico said. “Then I heard yelling, which I thought was his dad, so I started running because I thought I was going to get in trouble.”
But it wasn’t Caleb Gordley’s house. It was the home two doors down from his own, where Donald West Wilder, 43, lives with his girlfriend. Startled, Wilder grabbed the 40-caliber pistol equipped with a laser and flashlight that he kept next to his bed, thinking a thief was breaking into his home at 2:30 a.m.