Prosecutor: Contract nurse accused of setting Hackensack hospital staffer on fire found dead
A traveling nurse wanted for allegedly setting a co-worker on fire at Hackensack University Medical Center has been found dead.
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s office says that Nicholas Pagano died by suicide. His body was found in Waterford Township, where he apparently shot himself.
Pagano allegedly assaulted a 54-year-old female employee inside of the hospital on Monday. Authorities say that Pagano burned the woman and struck her with a wrench.
MORE: Contract nurse accused of setting staffer on fire, hitting her with wrench at Hackensack hospital
That victim is now at the St. Barnabas burn unit, suffering from third-degree burns over the upper half of her body.
A spokesperson for HUMC says Pagano was an independent nurse contractor, which is a health care professional who works on a contract basis instead of being employed full time by one hospital. The contractor typically travels to different locations to help during staff shortages. Officials say that Pagano passed all the necessary background checks before he was hired.
A motive for the attack was not immediately known.