Junior Fatally Shot While Attempting to Enter Wrong House

A University of South Carolina junior, Nicholas Donofrio, lost his life in a tragic incident that unfolded on a late summer night. The details surrounding the incident, which occurred in Columbia, South Carolina, have left the community in shock and raised questions about the consequences of a fateful mistake.

It all began innocently enough, with Donofrio enjoying an evening with friends at The Loose Cockaboose, a popular sports bar near the USC football stadium. However, as the night progressed, Donofrio’s actions took a dangerous turn. After being put into an Uber and driven back to the vicinity of his off-campus home, he mistakenly approached the wrong house on South Holly Street.

The residents of the home were immediately alarmed when they heard loud knocking, banging, and kicking on their front door. A woman inside quietly dialed 911, her voice trembling with fear as she reported the attempted break-in. Moments later, a deafening bang echoed through the call, marking the fatal gunshot fired by the woman’s boyfriend in an attempt to protect their home. The bullet struck Donofrio in the upper body, tragically ending his life.

The incident was captured by a Ring doorbell camera, which showed Donofrio approaching the house and attempting to turn the doorknob. As he did so, a car turned around in the street, seemingly unaware of the unfolding tragedy. The video also revealed that Donofrio eventually sat down on a bench outside the house.

The Columbia Police Department later confirmed that Donofrio resided on the same street where the incident occurred. They stated that he was highly intoxicated at the time of the shooting, shedding light on the possible reasons behind his confusion.

As the woman on the 911 call pleaded for help, the residents inside the house were unable to see Donofrio lying on their porch due to the frosted window on their front door and the angle of their security camera. The urgency in their voices was palpable as they anxiously awaited the arrival of the police.

Five minutes after the initial call reporting the suspected burglary, police officers arrived at the scene. However, it was too late to save Donofrio’s life. Seventy-five minutes after the fatal shooting, his friends, growing increasingly worried about his whereabouts, made their own call to 911. They expressed their deep concern, unsure of what had happened to their friend.

No charges were filed against the man who fired the fatal shot, as both the Columbia Police Department and the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office deemed his actions justified under South Carolina law. The “Stand Your Ground” law allows for the use of deadly force against anyone unlawfully and forcefully entering a dwelling.

In the aftermath of this tragic incident, Donofrio’s fraternity, Phi Kappa Sigma, established a GoFundMe campaign to create scholarships in his name. These scholarships will benefit students at both the University of South Carolina and his Connecticut high school, Daniel Hand High School.

The loss of Nicholas Donofrio has left a void in the hearts of his loved ones and the USC community. As the investigation continues, this heartbreaking incident serves as a reminder of the importance of vigilance and the potential consequences of mistaken actions.


Author: CrimeDoor

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