Family, University of South Carolina speak out about student’s fatal shooting

Published: Aug. 28, 2023 at 3:49 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The family of a college student who was shot to death, along with the University of South Carolina (USC), spoke out about the 20-year-old.

The student was identified by the Richland County Coroner’s Office as Nicholas Anthony Donofrio.

Investigators said Donofrio, who lived on South Holly Street, attempted to enter the wrong home when he was fatally shot.

On Monday, the Donofrio’s family released the following statement:

USC also provided WIS with a statement:

Donofrio was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma. WIS reached out to the fraternity’s president, Will Graves’ about Donofrio’s death; however, he said they prefer not to comment.

The Columbia Police Department released a redacted incident report, showing the incident is referred to as a homicide.

The exact details of what led to the shooting and who pulled the trigger remain unclear.

CPD Spokesperson Jennifer Timmons confirmed to WIS that there is an active criminal investigation, but the department has not named any suspects or charges. A press release said the department is communicating with the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office about the case.

An attempt to contact 5th Circuit Solicitor Byron Gipson on Monday was unsuccessful.

Rep. Seth Rose (D-Richland Co.) represents the area and is also a criminal defense attorney.

He said he doubts any charges will be brought, citing the state’s stand-your-ground law.

State law allows someone with “reasonable fear” to use deadly force if someone is unlawfully trying to enter a home.

“It’s not enough to say, oh I think this person is going to be burglarizing my home but they’re going to come in and steal a cupcake and leave. You have to be in fear, to use deadly force you must be afraid and reasonably afraid that deadly force is about to be used against you and your family,” Rose said.

Rose expressed his condolences to the family.

“It’s something that just as a parent that makes you sick to your stomach. It’s horrific news.”

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