A former NYPD officer fatally shot himself after an FBI traffic stop in Rockland County just up the road from an elementary school on Wednesday morning, according to reports.
It is unclear why Gerard Benderoth, a former NYPD and Haverstraw officer and American Strongman, was pulled over by FBI agents, but law enforcement sources noted the 48-year-old was a close friend of Nicholas Tartaglione, according to reports.
Tartaglione, a former Briarcliff Manor police officer, has been in jail since December after the bodies of four men were found on his property in Chester, New York. Police believe the “senseless murder” of the four men were tied to drug charges lodges against Tartaglione.
On Wednesday morning, authorities had not yet released Benderoth's name.
“While conducting a law enforcement vehicle stop this morning, FBI agents and task force officers approached a man who was the only occupant of a stopped vehicle,” a spokesperson told the New York Post. “During the approach, the man drew a handgun and shot himself. He died of the self-inflicted wound.”