A North Carolina man drove into a restaurant on purpose over the weekend, killing two family members, police say.
Roger Self sat his family down for a Sunday afternoon meal at a restaurant in Bessemer City and then went outside. He got in his jeep, police say, and rammed it right into the restaurant, killing his daughter and daughter-in-law, and injuring other family members in the chaos, according to The Gaston Gazette.
Self, a prominent 62-year-old businessman, was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder on Sunday in the deaths of his daughter, Katelyn Self, a deputy in the Gaston County Sheriff's Office, and his daughter-in-law Amanda Self, a nurse.
Amanda Self's husband, Josh Self, a police officer, and the couple's 13-year-old daughter were also injured, as well as Roger Self's wife. The family was all at church earlier in the day, the Gazette said.
A 14-year-old busboy named Caleb Martin witnessed the terrible scene firsthand.
"I walked over to my station and I heard a loud boom,” he told WSOC-TV in Charlotte. “It went straight through. There's a doorway. There is a wall and he drove in another room."
Martin helped right away.
"The one guy I could help in back, he was pretty hurt,” Martin said, “I helped paramedics move tables off this dude and I moved debris out of the way so they could get to him."
Friends close to Roger Self, a church-going man who owned several successful business, told the Gazette he'd been battling depression and mental illness, to the point that even his friends and relatives had trouble reconciling the man they knew with the man he had become.
About half a year ago, his close friends said he would open up to them about how he was feeling, according to the Gazette, and things worsened in the last two months. He wouldn’t get out of his bed for days. He didn’t like being around people, saying it made him paranoid. He also said he felt evil.
“He has been a shining light as to what it means to love people and then all of a sudden, about two months ago, it was like someone flipped a switch. I had never met this man,” Pastor Austin Rammell, the minister of Venture Church where the Self family attended, told the Gazette. “Taylor (Roger Self’s third child) is saying (today), ‘This is not my daddy.’”
Rammell said he spoke with Roger Self for hours on Saturday and Self would quote Bible verses out of context. Roger Self was seeing a psychiatrist and on medication, but he was still in a bad mental place, Rammell said.
Self owned a private investigation and loss management company called Southeastern Loss Management Inc., according to The Gaston Gazette.
[Photo: Gaston County Sheriff's Office]