Dozens gathered Thursday night to remember Caleb Gordley, a Loudoun County teen who was shot by a homeowner after he mistakenly snuck into a neighbor's home early Sunday.
"Caleb had a lot of friends, a lot of people who loved him, even more than I ever knew," Caleb's father, Shawn Gordley, told News4's Shomari Stone.
Gordley was shot after he snuck into the home through a window, setting off the home's alarm. Earlier Thursday, authorities had said the homeowner had called 911, warned Gordley verbally and fired a warning shot before firing the shots that struck and killed the teen.
Authorities have said they believe Gordley had mistaken the house for his own and was trying to sneak back in after a night of partying. He died at the scene.
The teen - who was a three-sport athlete at Park View High School and aspired to be a rapper - was remembered as a good friend and son.
"He was very respectful," Shawn Gordley said. "He respected life, respected everybody he ever met."
The sheriff's office said Thursday that Gordley - who lived two houses away - had been drinking and entered the his neighbor's house about 2:30 a.m. through a rear, unlocked window. The sheriff's office said Gordley did not enter the home with any criminal intent.
The sheriff's department said the gun that the homeowner used, a .40-caliber pistol, appears to be legally owned.
According to the sheriff's department, the homeowner had come to investigate the alarm when he encountered someone on the stairs leading to the second floor . The homeowner "gave verbal warnings and discharged the firearm as a warning," according to a statement issued by the sheriff's department Thursday afternoon.
But the teen continued up the stairwell and into a hallway. The homeowner shot at the teen, and struck him once in the left shoulder as he passed the homeowner in the hallway and walked toward an upstairs bedroom that was occupied by other residents of the home. They will not close their investigation until the final medical examiner's report is complete.
The sheriff's office say they are conducting a separate investigation on how Gordley obtained alcohol.
Gordley's parents have said they do not blame the homeowner.
"I want you to know, sir, I forgive you," said Jennea Gordley, Caleb's mother, on Tuesday. "I understand this was an accident. I truly believe everything happens for a reason. My son, he's an angel.