A 20-year-old University of South Carolina student, Nicholas Anthony Donofrio, was fatally shot early Saturday after mistakenly entering the wrong house on the street where he lived. According to the Columbia Police Department, Donofrio, originally from Connecticut, was shot to death at a residence several blocks from the University of South Carolina campus in southeast Columbia. Police stated that preliminary information suggests Donofrio attempted to enter the wrong home, resulting in the fatal shooting.
Before the incident, police had been dispatched to the residence to investigate a reported burglary in progress. While en route, the call was upgraded to a shots-fired situation. Upon arrival, officers discovered Donofrio deceased on the front porch, having sustained a gunshot wound to his upper body. The identity of the person who shot Donofrio has not been released.
The shooting is currently under investigation, with authorities consulting the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office in Columbia to determine the circumstances surrounding the case. The University of South Carolina expressed condolences and assured students that support and resources are available to those affected by the tragedy.
This incident follows a similar case in Missouri, where 17-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot and injured after mistakenly going to the wrong house to pick up his siblings. The homeowner, Andrew Lester, was arrested and charged with felony assault and armed criminal action. Lester claimed he believed someone was attempting to break into his house and shot Yarl, who he described as a “Black male approximately 6 feet tall.”