Police, solicitor’s office deem fatal shooting of USC student justifiable

Published: Aug. 30, 2023 at 4:52 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Columbia Police Department (CPD) and the solicitor’s office deemed the fatal shooting of a University of South Carolina (USC) student justifiable under the Protection of Persons and Property Act.

Investigators said 20-year-old Nicholas Donofrio attempted to enter the wrong home when he was fatally shot on the 500 block of South Holly Street around 2 a.m. Aug. 26.

Donofrio lived on the same street.

Police were dispatched for a reported home invasion. While en route, officials said the call was upgraded to shots fired and officers found Donofio dead on the front porch.

According to CPD, factors that included evidence gathered at the scene, surveillance video, audio evidence and witness statements led to the decision to deem the shooting justifiable.

CPD states Donofrio repeatedly knocked, banged, and kicked the front door while manipulating the door handle and the female resident called 911 while the male resident went to another part of the home to get a gun.

Donofrio broke the front door glass window and reached inside to manipulate the doorknob when the female resident was on the phone with emergency dispatchers, police added.

Police said that’s when the male resident fired a single shot through the broken door window, hitting Donofrio in the upper body.

Investigators determined the homeowner legally owned the gun and was not prohibited from having it.

“This is a heartbreaking case for all involved,” Columbia Police Chief W.H. ‘Skip’ Holbrook said. “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.”

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