One could see the void left by the death of Caleb Gordley simply by looking at the parking lot. On March 21, friends and family came to the Elk Lodge in Sterling for five hours to celebrate his life.
A 16-year-old junior and student-athlete at Park View High School, Gordley was shot and killed in the early hours of March 17 after accidentally sneaking into the wrong house after a night out with friends. Gordley lived only a few houses down from the home he died in.
More than 200 people visited the Elk Lodge to honor Gordley.
Photos around the hall documented the teenager's life, from a smiling infant clad only in a diaper to a serious faced basketball player adorned in Park View's red and blue colors. Gordley's number 11 basketball jerseys -both home and away- hung from railing. An aspiring rapper who used the name “Prince George,” Gordley's music blasted through the speakers. A projector highlighted his athletic achievements and quotes from coaches and teammates.
“It was an honor sharing the court with him this season,” one teammate said.
“Caleb was genuine person who always strived (sic) to be great,” said Park View football coach Ferris Eways.
Many of the attendees donned orange and black, in honor of Gordley's favorite team, the Cincinnati Bengals, while others wore Park View shirts and sweatshirts. Shawn Gordley, Caleb's father, wore Gordley's Park View basketball sweatshirt.
Students fought back tears as they filled out card for a memory box for the Gordley family.
“He would always crack jokes on people,” said Chelsea Crum, a junior at Park View. “He would just make people laugh. He had this look he would give me. I don't even know how to describe it.”
Through the tragedy, Gordley's friends and family are just trying to keep the memory of the smiling sixteen-year-old alive.
The video concluded with a message to the young man from the high school is was so active in.
“Caleb, you will always be with us.”
For information regarding the Caleb Gordley shooting, click here