COLUMBIA, S.C. (WTNH) — South Carolinian authorities will not charge a man who shot and killed a college student from Madison who was mistakenly trying to enter the wrong home, according to an announcement on Wednesday.
“After consulting with the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office regarding the circumstances of the
South Holly Street fatal shooting last weekend, charges will not be filed against the
homeowner,” an announcement from the Columbia Police Department reads. “As a result, the homeowner’s name will not be publicly released.”
Nicholas Anthony Donofrio, 20, was found dead with a gunshot wound to his upper body by the time police responded to reports of a home burglary and shooting, according to Columbia police. He had mistakenly tried to enter the wrong home and had been knocking, banging and kicking at the front door while twisting the door handle.
A female resident called 911 for help when he kicked the door, according to police. Meanwhile, a male resident got a gun. Donofrio was shot after breaking the front door glass window and reaching inside for the doorknob.
Police said Donofrio lived on the same street where he was shot. The shooting occurred in Columbia’s Rosewood neighborhood adjacent to the campus.
“This is a heartbreaking case for all involved,” Columbia Police Chief W.H. “Skip” Holbrook wrote in the announcement. “Our lead investigator has diligently worked to gather all the facts surrounding this incident. He has also maintained contact with the Donofrio family throughout the investigation. We at the Columbia Police Department extend our deepest condolences for their immeasurable loss.”
Lou and Dina Donofrio told News 8 earlier this week that their son was a Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity member and was studying applied exercise science. They had moved him into an off-campus house last week, where he was excited to live with four friends for his junior year. The brothers of Phi Kappa Sigma have started a GoFundMe to establish a Scholarship in Donofrio’s honor.
Columbia police wrote that the decision to not press charges was made due to evidence, surveillance video, audio evidence and witness statements. Authorities are awaiting toxicology reports to see if Donofrio was impaired.
According to his obituary, calling hours will be held on Sept. 1 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Swan Funeral Home at 825 Boston Post Road. His funeral will then be held on Sept. 2 at 11 a.m. at St. Agnes Cemetery on East Main Street.