“I didn’t need to forgive him. I never was angry at him, and I know what he did wasn’t him,” said Monty Self.
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.
Monty Self said the brother he loves didn’t commit that deadly act. He said that Roger Self is mentally ill, and the demons deep inside got the best of him and brought out the worst.
Other family members were also injured. Roger Self’s wife Diane was badly hurt and is in critical condition. His son Josh Self – a Gaston County police officer – was also wounded, along with Josh and Amanda Self’s 13-year-old daughter. They are expected to recover.
“Tragic, tragic loss of life,” said Gaston County Sheriff Alan Cloninger said. “I’m asking people just to keep the family in your prayers, and the Sheriff’s Office, because we’re suffering right now.”
Austin Rammell, the pastor at Venture Church, said Roger Self has been dealing with mental illness, including anxiety, depression, and mental breakdowns in recent months, and he had sought medical help.
“Family has been loving him through this,” Rammell said. “He’s been taking precautions. He had all the guns removed from his house, so he was taking steps that were rational steps.”