GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Gaston County law enforcement officers are asking the community to look beyond the badge in helping them all through unimaginable loss.
In May, Roger Self ran his car into a local restaurant. The incident killed his daughter-in-law, Amanda Self, and his daughter, Gaston County Sheriff's Deputy Kate Self.
His son, a Gaston County Police officer, was also seriously hurt.
"As a police officer and just as a human being, to know that [the community is] hurting along with us, and they want to support him and let him know that they're thinking about him," Captain Brent Roberts said.
Thursday at Gaston County Police Department, a shipment arrived early. It was 200 t-shirts made special for the Self family, and made possible by the community.
"To have the community understand that police officers are people too, and we hurt just like they do," Asst. Chief Suzanne Mauney-Smith said.
"We want the Self family to know that we're going to be here throughout," Roberts added.
All money made off the shirt sales will go to Josh Self's family. That early shipment was two weeks early to jump-start those sales.
"Surprised them a little bit," Great Outdoors shop owner David Hendrick says with a smile.
Hendrick's shop is supplying the printing services free of charge.
"We were honored to do it," he says.
Meanwhile, Josh Self is honored by the community support.
"People I don't even know, sending me cards from all over the country, and not only the Gaston County Police Department but the Sheriff's Office, the Gastonia City Police Department," he said. "I can only wish that my wife and my sister Kate were here to see the support."
Self says he is looking forward to re-joining his brothers and sisters in blue soon, as they too lean on the community, sorting through this unthinkable loss.
"We're here most of the time for [the community], but we also need them to be here for us and to support us," Mauney-Smith said.
Self says the gesture means so much to him, he is going to frame one of the t-shirts.
The following includes order instructions sent by the Gaston County Police Department for those interested: