BESSEMER CITY, N.C. – A 62-year-old man intentionally drove his vehicle into a North Carolina restaurant where his family was eating on Sunday, killing his daughter and his daughter-in-law and injuring several others, authorities said.
The killings occurred just after noon in Bessemer City, outside of Charlotte, after the family sat down to lunch at the Surf and Turf Lodge, police said.
Roger Self was charged with two counts of first-degree murder Sunday night, according to jail records. He is being held at Gaston County Jail. He was scheduled to have a court appearance on Monday afternoon.
One of those killed in the crash was his daughter Katelyn Self. She was a deputy at the Gaston County jail and had worked at the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office for four years, the office said. She was off duty at the time of the incident, officials said.
“Our hearts are broken and we ask for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time, not only for Katelyn’s family and friends, but also her brothers and sisters in uniform,” the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office said.
Amanda Self, the suspect’s daughter-in-law and a nurse manager in the emergency department at CaroMont Regional Medical Center, also died in the crash, according to a statement from CaroMont Health in Gastonia.
“She will be remembered by her colleagues as an exceptional nurse, respected leader and caring friend,” CaroMont Health said on Facebook.
“Tragic, tragic loss of life,” Gaston County Sheriff Alan Cloninger said, according to CNN affiliate WSOC. “I’m asking people just to keep the family in your prayers, and the sheriff’s dffice, because we’re suffering right now.”
Austin Rammell, the pastor at Venture Church, said Roger Self had been dealing with mental illness issues and had sought medical help in recent months, he told WSOC.
“I’m just trying to encourage them,” Rammell said. “This was not a conscious act by their father and they know that.”
Melissa McMahan, the owner of the restaurant, wrote on the restaurant’s Facebook page that no staff members were harmed.
“We will support and remember this precious family. We will rebuild. We will forever be changed,” she wrote.