Tragic Incident: University Student Fatally Shot After Entering Wrong Home


In a heartbreaking incident that unfolded in a quiet residential neighborhood in Columbia, South Carolina, a 20-year-old college student, Nicholas Donofrio, lost his life after mistakenly entering the wrong home. The tragic incident occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning, sending shockwaves through the local community and university campus.

Details of the Incident:

Nicholas Donofrio, a junior at the University of South Carolina, was fatally shot as he attempted to enter a residence on the 500 block of South Holly Street just before 2:00 AM. Columbia Police were initially called to the scene following reports of an attempted burglary. However, as they rushed to the location, they received distressing reports of shots fired.

Upon their arrival, law enforcement discovered the lifeless body of Nicholas Donofrio on the front porch of the house, suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper chest. Preliminary investigations revealed that Donofrio resided on the same street, which is approximately two miles from the University of South Carolina’s campus. This tragic event unfolded just days after the commencement of the college’s fall semester.

Background Information:

Nicholas Donofrio, originally from Madison, Connecticut, had initially attended the University of New England before transferring to the University of South Carolina in 2021, as reported by Connecticut Insider.

Ongoing Investigation:

The homeowner involved in the incident has not yet been identified, and it remains uncertain whether they will face any charges in connection with the tragic shooting. The investigation is still in progress, according to local authorities.

It is important to note that South Carolina has a comprehensive ‘stand-your-ground’ law, which generally provides legal protection to individuals who use lethal force within their own homes, as outlined by the Giffords Law Center. These laws can pose challenges for law enforcement when investigating such cases, as they may limit their ability to arrest individuals who claim to have acted in self-defense.

Similar Incidents in Recent Memory:

This tragic event bears a resemblance to a case from four months ago, involving the shooting of Ralph Yarl, a 17-year-old high school student from Kansas City, Missouri. Yarl was shot and injured when he mistakenly arrived at the wrong residence to pick up his younger siblings. The homeowner, an 84-year-old man named Andrew Lester, was eventually arrested and charged with first-degree assault in connection with the incident.


The untimely death of Nicholas Donofrio has left the community in mourning and has raised questions about the complex legal issues surrounding self-defense and home intrusion. As the investigation unfolds, the community and university campus await further updates regarding this tragic incident.

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