Traveling nurse who allegedly set NJ hospital worker on fire found dead of apparent suicide

HACKENSACK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A traveling nurse who allegedly attacked a New Jersey hospital employee and set her on fire has been found dead of an apparent suicide.

Bergen County Prosecutor Mark says 31-year-old Nicholas Pagano was found inside his vehicle in Waterford with what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.

Authorities say Pagano got into an argument with a 54-year-old Hackensack University Medical Center worker early Monday morning, striking her with a wrench and setting her on fire in a break room.

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Upon leaving the store, Suffolk County police say the woman saw a woman filming her.

The victim suffered third-degree burns over her upper body and hands, as well as a laceration to her head that required stitches.

She was initially treated in the emergency room at HUMC and then transported to another medical facility for treatment.

Pagano fled in his car after the incident, and law enforcement was actively looking for him.

Pagano was not a hospital employee but had been working there as a contracted nurse since mid-November.

Even though he was not in custody, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella had already announced charges against Pagano, including attempted murder, aggravated assault and unlawful weapons possession.

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