Grief counselors were on hand at a Sterling, Va., high school Monday after a student at the school was shot and killed after entering a neighbor's home over the weekend.
"I didn't really want to go to school," said a friend and classmate of the deceased teen. "It was hard to get out of bed, just knowing that he got shot... I'll love him forever. We acted like we were brothers."
The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office identified the deceased Park View High School student as Caleb A. Gordley, 16.
He was killed after entering a home in the 45900 block of Pullman Court two doors down from his at approximately 2:30 a.m. Sunday, setting off a home security alarm and prompting the homeowner to call 911.
When he went to investigate, he encountered Gordley on the stairs and shot him before authorities arrived, the Sheriff's Office said.
"It's a tragic, tragic accident," said Bonnie Terry, Caleb's great aunt. "I can't explain the loss that I feel and that our family feels. He was the light of our life... He was a wonderful young man."
Neighbors said the homeowner is a firefighter and called him a good man who helped others.
Students at Park View High School said Gordley was a junior who was a popular three-sport athlete and budding rapper.
"If you had classes with him, there was no way you weren't leaving that class without a smile," said a classmate.
Friends said Gordley may have accidentally gone into the wrong house. He apparently had been drinking alcohol with friends earlier in the evening, authorities said, although they are still awaiting a toxicology report.
Gordley apparently entered the neighbor's home through a rear window that was found open, authorities said.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with more information is asked to call the Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475.