Nicholas Anthony Donofrio: USC student shot trying to enter wrong home

Nicholas Anthony Donofrio
Nicholas Anthony Donofrio

USC Student Shot Dead Trying to Enter Wrong Home Was ‘Loving, Compassionate,’ Parents Say

The grieving parents of a University of South Carolina student who was shot dead when he tried to enter the wrong home have described their son as “loving, compassionate” and “a great son.”

Nicholas Anthony Donofrio, 20, was found dead about 2 a.m. Saturday on the front porch of a Columbia home. Police said they were called to a report of a break-in at the residence, which was on the same block where Donofrio lived.

“Preliminary information indicates that Donofrio who resided on South Holly Street attempted to enter the wrong home when he was fatally shot,” police said in a statement.

Donofrio’s parents told WTNH that they had just dropped their son off at his new off-campus apartment last week. They declined to discuss the shooting, but described Donofrio as “a great son, loving, compassionate, all the traits you would want in a son.”

Donofrio was a student at the University of South Carolina, where he was studying kinesiology and exercise science. He was a graduate of Daniel Hand High School in Madison, Connecticut, where he played baseball and basketball.

His former basketball coach, Jimmy Economopoulos, said Donofrio was the team’s captain in his senior year.

“It’s heartbreaking. When (I heard) the news, my heart just sank,” Economopoulos told CT Insider on Sunday. “He was just a smart, engaging, charismatic young man. … It wasn’t the phone call I was expecting to get yesterday, that’s for sure.”

Police say the shooting is an active investigation and have not released any further details.

“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 said in a statement.