Sheriff Nugent was shot and killed by a shop owner while staking out the shop after a recent string of burglaries. The shop owner had requested that the Sheriff watch the store but did not know he was coming that night. The owner heard sounds near the wood pile and as he left at 0130 hours Sheriff Nugent turned on his flashlight and ordered the owner to put his hands up. Thinking it was a burglar, the owner opened fire with his shotgun, striking Sheriff Nugent in the chest. A deputy returned fire before going to get help. When the deputy returned he arrested the owner. The man was never charged and the shooting was ruled an accident.

Sheriff Nugent had been with the agency for 20 years and was survived by his wife.