GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - The family of the man accused of plowing into a Gaston County restaurant Sunday, killing his daughter and daughter-in-law, issued a statement Wednesday.
The incident happened around noon at the Surf and Turf restaurant located on North 14th Street in Bessemer City.
Officials say Roger Self intentionally drove the car into the restaurant. "It was abundantly clear that this was not an accident," Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Rob Tufano said in a press conference Monday.
Monty Self, the brother of Roger Self, spoke on behalf of the family Wednesday, thanking law enforcement and the community for their support.
"At this time we still have family members battling the physical ramifications of this event; Josh Self and Diane Self," Monty Self said.
Diane Self is Roger Self's wife and Josh Self is Roger's son. Josh Self's 13-year-old daughter was also injured in the incident and his wife, Amanda Self, was killed.
Roger Self's daughter, deputy 26-year-old Katelyn Self was also killed.
Katelyn Self's fiancé Alex Burns, who works with the Gastonia Police Department, was sitting next to her when the incident occurred. "He was sitting beside his fiancé and suddenly she was gone," the family's pastor, Austin Rammell, said during a press conference.
Other children were at the table when the incident occurred and are OK. They are being cared for by family members and friends, according to Rammell.
"Tragic, tragic loss of life," Gaston County Sheriff Alan Cloninger said in a Sunday afternoon press conference. "I would just ask for the people to keep the family in their prayers and also the Sheriff's Office cause we are going through a tough time right now."
According to Ramell, Roger Self's mental wellbeing was the contributing factor in this incident. He had reportedly started reaching out to his wife and church leaders two months prior to the Sunday tragedy with concerns of his mental state.
Ramell said Roger Self had been suffering from "severe depression and severe anxiety." "It was a roller coaster...the last few days it went from bad to really bad," the pastor said.
Monty Self said,"our faith assures us that no matter the darkest of days in this life, our ultimate home, eternal home, is a place of glorious light in God's presence. Kate Self and Amanda Self knew this to be true and now, because they believed this, they are experiencing his presence and we know, one day, we will be reunited with them."
"Roger Self has been, and always will be, loved by this family. As many can understand, many questions exist in our minds with regard to his health and actions," Monty Self said.
Roger Self was charged with murder in the case.
Kately Self reportedly made the reservation to spend time with her family and have a good time with her dad.
Roger Self reportedly came into the restaurant with his family before getting up and leaving, sources say. That's when he then allegedly drove his car into the building. "Roger got up...the next thing you know he came through the window," the family's pastor said.
The family had previously attended church together prior to meeting at the restaurant, according to Rammell.