COLUMBIA, S.C. (WTNH) — A University of South Carolina student was shot and killed while mistakenly attempting to enter the wrong home early Saturday morning, police said.
Nicholas Anthony Donofrio, 20, from Madison, Connecticut, was found dead with a gunshot wound to his upper body by the time police in Columbia, South Carolina, responded to reports of a home burglary and shooting, police said. Officers found his body on the front porch of the home around 2 a.m.
Police said Donofrio lived on the same street where he was shot but that he had attempted to enter another home. The shooting occurred in a Columbia neighborhood adjacent to the campus.
Donofrio’s parents told Nexstar’s WTNH that their son was a Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity member. They had just moved him into an off-campus house last week where he was excited to live with four friends for his junior year.
Police did not say who shot Donofrio or whether any charges were immediately filed.
His parents declined to comment about the shooting, saying they were heartbroken and in disbelief. They said Donforio was “a great son, loving, compassionate, all the traits you would want in a son.”
According to his parents, Donforio graduated from Daniel Hand High School in Madison, where he played baseball and basketball. He also played basketball during his freshman year at the University of New England before transferring to the University of South Carolina, where he was an applied exercise science major.
“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,” the University of South Carolina said in a statement.
The Madison Public Schools also issued a statement, which read, in part, “The Madison Public Schools community is deeply saddened to learn of the death of recent Daniel Hand High School Class of 2021 graduate Nicholas Donofrio. Nick was an exceptional young man who excelled in the classroom and as an athlete. Our thoughts are with Nick’s family and friends at this time.”
The Columbia police said they will continue to consult with the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office regarding the circumstances of the case.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.