South Carolina Student Shot Dead After Accidentally Attempting to Enter Wrong Home

Nicholas Anthony Donofrio
Nicholas Anthony Donofrio Facebook

A 20-year-old University of South Carolina student was fatally shot on Saturday, Aug. 26, when he accidentally tried to enter the wrong house on the street where he lived and was mistaken for a burglar, according to police.

The student was identified as Nicholas Anthony Donofrio, according to the Richland County, South Carolina, Coroner's Office. Donofrio was from Connecticut and had just started his sophomore year last week at the university, school officials said.

Donofrio was shot to death early Saturday at a home several blocks from the University of South Carolina in southeast Columbia, the state capital, according to a statement from the Columbia Police Department. The shooting unfolded just before 2 a.m. on the street where Donofrio lived, police said.

"Preliminary information indicates that Donofrio who resided on South Holly Street attempted to enter the wrong home when he was fatally shot," according to the police statement.

Prior to the shooting, police were sent to the home to investigate a report of a burglary in progress, according to the statement. "While en route, the emergency call for service was upgraded to a shots fired call," police said in the statement.

When officers arrived at the home, they found Donofrio dead on the front porch with a gunshot wound to his upper body, according to police. The shooting remains under investigation. Police have not yet releases the name of the person who shot Donofrio.

Investigators are consulting with the Fifth Circuit Solicitor's Office in Columbia regarding the circumstances of the case, according to the statement.

The 500 block of South Holly Street is approximately 2 miles from the university campus. University officials said in a statement, per ABC News, "Our Student Affairs team is providing resources and support to those who may be affected by this tragedy, and we remind all of our students that help is always available to them."

According to his Linkedin page, Donofrio was a junior studying kinesiology and exercise science after he previously transferred from the University of New England in 2021, where he played basketball. He also worked full-time "assisting with grounds maintenance for 7 school buildings in the district" for the Guilford Public Schools in Connecticut.