A 20-year-old college student was fatally shot in Columbia, South Carolina, early Saturday morning while attempting to enter the wrong home, according to police.
Nicholas Anthony Donofrio, a student at the University of South Carolina, was found dead on the front porch of a home on South Holly Street with a gunshot wound to his upper body, Columbia police said in a statement. His own home was on the same street.
Nicholas Anthony Donofrio, 20, was shot and killed in Columbia, South Carolina, on Saturday.
Police said they responded to a call about a home burglary, which was shortly upgraded to a shots fired call.
Donofrio’s parents, who live in Connecticut, told local news outlet WTNH that their son was a member of the fraternity Phi Kappa Sigma and that he’d moved into an off-campus house.
The fraternity declined to comment on Donofrio’s death.
Donofrio’s parents described him to WTNH as “a great son, loving, compassionate, all the traits you would want in a son.”
Jimmy Economopoulos, the boys basketball coach at Donofrio’s former high school, told CT Insider that Donofrio was captain of the team during his senior year.
“It’s heartbreaking. When (I heard) the news, my heart just sank,” Economopoulos told CT Insider. “He was just a smart, engaging, charismatic young man.”
Before transferring to the University of South Carolina, Donofrio played basketball for the University of New England, according to his player profile.
The identity of the shooter has not been made public, and it’s unclear whether any charges will be filed. Police said they “will continue to consult with the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office regarding the circumstances of the case.”
According to South Carolina’s Protection of Persons and Property Act ― a law of the sort commonly referred to as “stand your ground” ― homeowners are allowed to use deadly force if there is a reasonable fear of imminent peril. Police officers are not allowed to immediately arrest the person who used deadly force unless there is probable cause that it was unlawful.
So far in 2023, 28,402 people in the U.S. have died as a result of gun violence, according to Aug. 28 figures from the Gun Violence Archive.