According to the police report, Shawn Gordley said, Wilder immediately saw Caleb Gordley in the kitchen area when the motion lights came on, did not recognize him, and yelled at him to get out of the house. Intoxicated, Caleb Gordley continued to walk through the home and headed towards the stairs.
“The homeowner said he made eye contact with Caleb, and there was a dazed look on his face, so he knew he was on drugs, alcohol, whatever the case may be,” Shawn Gordley said. “As he came up the steps, he said he saw no weapon, nothing like that.”
Caleb Gordley kept walking up the staircase, where Wilder’s girlfriend was sleeping upstairs. Frightened, Wilder fired one warning shot and one aimed at Caleb Gordley. “Caleb, according to a statement, turned around, didn’t attack the person shooting at him and simply said, according to the statement, ‘You just shot me,’” Shawn Gordley said. “At which point, he turned back around and proceeded to walk to what he thought was his own bedroom.”
After Caleb Gordley reached the top of the stairs, Wilder fired two or three more shots, according to the police report. One shot went through Caleb Gordley’s back, and another, which was aimed at his head, missed.
“You have a person that…actually comes in through a window…The alarm sounds off…He was six-foot tall, unknownst to the…homeowner, wearing dark clothing,” Sheriff Michael Chapman of Loudon County, Va., told “20/20.” “You look at everything in context of what’s going on: 2:30 in the morning, somebody breaking in to your house, you..had no idea who this person was.”
“You could have...shot him in leg,” Shawn Gordley said. “Instead he lined himself up at the perfect angle to shoot a hollow point bullet through my son's lung and explode his chest and then a fourth shot at his head for good measure.”
No charges were ever filed against Wilder. Through his attorney, Wilder declined a request from “20/20” for an interview, saying in statement, “As you can imagine, the incident was an unfortunate tragedy on every level...As we are not confident that participating in your program would contribute to the healing process, we are unwilling to so participate.”
Ten months after Caleb Gordley’s death, his family and friends are struggling to understand how his mistake ended so tragically and still waiting for an apology in person from the man who took his life.
“Do I hate him? No. Do I want him put away? No, I don't think that's going to solve anything,” Jennea Gordley said.
“I put all of the blame on me at first. I thought it was all my fault, because I took him to the wrong house,” Carico said.
“We can’t just forget about him and let him go. I have to remember him for the rest of my life,” said Carico.