(ABC NEWS)- A former police officer charged with intentionally plowing his car through a North Carolina restaurant and killing his daughter and daughter-in-law had been suffering from deep mental illness, his pastor said Monday.
Roger Self and 16 members of his family had gone to the Surf and Turf Lodge in the Charlotte suburb of Bessemer City after attending church on Sunday and were enjoying a meal when he suddenly got up, went to his car and drove it at full speed through the front window and into a table where his family was seated, police said.
Killed in the incident were Self’s daughter, Kate Self, a sheriff’s deputy, and his daughter-in-law, Amanda Self, an emergency room nurse, said Austin Rammell, pastor of the Dare to Venture Church in Dallas, North Carolina, where 62-year-old Roger Self was a longtime member.
Self’s wife, Diane Self, and son, Josh Self, a police officer, were critically injured in the incident, which occurred around noon on Sunday.
“That was actually set up by Kate to just have a good time with her dad,” Rammell said of the family gathering during a news conference Monday. “She wanted to have all the family there to have a good time with her dad.”
He said Kate Self, 26, was seated at the table next to her fiance, Alex Burns, a police officer in Gastonia, North Carolina, when her father’s car came through the restaurant window and wiped out their table, Rammell said.
“What happened yesterday was not a testimony of Roger Self, but a testimony of mental illness that absolutely overtook him a little over two months ago,” said Rammell, who described Self to ABC News as his “best friend.”
Roger Self has been charged with two counts of murder, the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office said. He is being held in Gaston County Jail without bond and is expected to appear in court on Monday.