A USC student shot trying to enter the wrong house was ‘caring and compassionate’: parents

The grieving parents of a University of South Carolina student who was shot and killed trying to enter the wrong house had just dropped off their “loving and compassionate” son last week to start his junior year.

Nicholas Anthony Donofrio, 20, who was found dead around 2 a.m. Saturday on the porch of a Columbia home, had moved into a nearby residence last week that he shared with four friends, his parents told WTNH.

They told the outlet that the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity member had been brought in to drop out in his junior year.

They declined to discuss the shooting, but described Donofrio as “a great son, loving, compassionate, all the traits you would want in a son.”

Police said they were called about a report of a burglary at the residence, which was on the same block where Donofrio lived.

“Preliminary information indicates that Donofrio, who was a resident of South Holly Street, attempted to enter the wrong home when he was fatally shot,” the statement read.

nicolas donofrioPolice said Donofrio, a Connecticut native, lived on the same street as the house he tried to break into early Saturday morning, which is less than 2 miles from the university’s main campus.LinkedIn

The young man, who transferred from the University of New England in 2021, was studying kinesiology and exercise science, according to his LinkedIn page.

His parents, who were not identified, told the news outlet that Donofrio graduated from Daniel Hand High School in Madison, Connecticut, where he played baseball and basketball.

His former basketball coach, Jimmy Economopoulos, said the student captained the team his senior year.

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Deputies were called to the home around 2 a.m. for the search, but a second call reported that shots had been fired before authorities arrived.Deputies were called to the home around 2 a.m. for the burglary, but a second call reported shots had been fired before authorities arrived.WLTX/YouTube
The first day of classes at the University of South Carolina for the fall semester began last Thursday.The University of South Carolina classes for the fall semester began last Thursday. googlemaps

“It is heartbreaking. When (heard) the news, my heart sank,” Economopoulos told CT Insider on Sunday. “He was just an intelligent, attractive and charismatic young man. … It wasn’t the phone call he expected to get yesterday, that’s for sure.”

Kate Reynolds, a resident of the neighborhood where the shooting occurred, said she was appalled by the shooting that ended a life.

“You think you’re going to be safe sending your son, you’re very excited to send him to school and something like this happens,” Reynolds told WLTX.

nicolas donofrioPolice say the shooting is an active investigation. UNE Athletics

“It’s not how you want to start college and it’s traumatic. You’re going to have those memories of your friend. The whole experience is also tainted by that,” he said.

“I hate to hear that anyone … even in the neighborhood, because this is usually a more welcoming and friendly neighborhood than that,” Reynolds added.

University of South Carolina classes for the fall semester began Thursday.

“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.

Authorities have not disclosed who shot Donofrio, nor if any charges have been filed in the case, as the investigation “remains active.”

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“CPD investigators will continue to consult with the Fifth Circuit Attorney’s Office regarding the circumstances of the case,” police said.

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Source: vtt.edu.vn

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