Haverstraw Police Officer Gerard Benderoth walks Dec. 26, 2006 on Main Street in the Village of Haverstraw. The Haverstraw town and village police departments were consolidated a year ago. ( Kathy Gardner / The Journal News )

Defense lawyers representing the man charged with killing four Middletown men last year had planned to interview Gerard Benderoth, the former New York City police officer who police say shot and killed himself Wednesday morning as officers and FBI agents approached his car.

According to the state police, Benderoth, 48, of Stony Point was stopped by FBI agents and state troopers on Rosman Road at the intersection of Langschur Court in the Town of Haverstraw at about 8:20 a.m. Wednesday.

As officers approached the vehicle, Benderoth shot himself with a gun he had in the vehicle, police said.

In a statement, an FBI spokeswoman reiterated what state police said without mentioning Benderoth by name.

Nicholas_Tartaglione_Indictment by Syndicated News SNN.BZ on Scribd

Victims Hector Gutierrez (top left), Martin Santos-Luna (top right), Urbano Morales-Santiago (bottom left), and Miguel Sosa-Luna (bottom right)

Strongman Gerard Benderoth Wednesday June 20, 2007 in Aston Pa. Philadelphia (H. Rumph, Jr./For the Daily News)

A Times Herald-Record story from 2003 identified Benderoth as a New York City police officer and bodybuilder.

The NYPD said Thursday that he was an NYPD Police officer from 1995 to 2005.

Benderoth was on a list of people the defense team of former Briarcliff Manor police officer Nicholas Tartaglione wanted to speak to as part of its investigation, according to Tartaglione’s attorney, Bruce Barket.

Tartaglione, 49, was arrested in December, charged via a federal indictment with killing four Middletown men in April 2016 in furtherance of a conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.

The victims were Martin Santos-Luna, 41, Urbano Morales-Santiago, 35, Miguel Sosa-Luna, 25, and Hector Gutierrez, 32.

Barket said Thursday that Benderoth’s name was familiar to him and that he was someone the defense team had wanted to contact.

“This gentleman was on a long list of people we wanted to speak to,” Barket said.

Barket would not elaborate on why attorneys wanted to speak to Benderoth or what his connection was to Tartaglione, but he called the death of Benderoth an “absolute tragedy” and said he felt bad for his family, especially his children.

May 17, 2009, Uncasville, Connecticut, USA: Former NYPD officer Gerard Benderoth competes at the World’s Strongest Man Qualifyer Competition held at the Mohegan Sun Casino. Benderoth came in last out of 12 participants. But he vowed to not give up. Benderoth patrolled the South Bronx’s 44th Precinct for a decade.///Gerard Benderoth (R) with other competitors during the National Anthem.. Credit: Matthew McDermott / Polaris


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