BESSEMER CITY, N.C. — A pastor says that the man accused of driving a car into a North Carolina restaurant, killing two people, including his own daughter, had been dealing with mental illness.
Austin Rammell, the pastor at Venture Church, told WSOC that Roger Self, whom he considered to be one of his best friends, was suffering from anxiety and depression, and had mental breakdowns in recent months.
“This is totally opposite of who he is,” Rammell said.
Self was arrested around noon Sunday after police said he intentionally crashed his car into the Surf & Turf Lodge in Bessemer City.
Wait staff said the suspect took his family to the restaurant and had them seated. He then allegedly went out to his vehicle and sped into the area where they were sitting.
One of the victims was identified as Self’s daughter, Katelyn Self, 26, who worked with the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office. The second victim has been identified as Amanda Self, who is Roger’s daughter-in-law.
Other family members were also injured, police say.
Rammell believes the incident was not a “conscious act.”
“I’m just trying to encourage them,” Rammell said of the family. “This was not a conscious act by their father and they know that.”
Officials said Roger Self is a private investigator who used to work for Gastonia Police Department years ago.
He has been jailed without bond on two counts of first-degree murder and has court planned for Monday.