After Ramming Car Into Eatery, 'He Kept Saying This Was Crazy'

Roger Self was 'numb,' had been battling mental illness, say family members
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2018 12:05 PM CDT
Family Says Man Who Rammed Car Into Eatery Is Mentally Ill
Roger Self stands in the courtroom during his first appearance hearing at the Gaston County Courthouse, in Gastonia, NC, on Monday.   (John Clark/The Gaston Gazette via AP)

Family and friends say that the 62-year-old man who rammed his car into a North Carolina restaurant and killed members of his family had been battling worsening anxiety and depression. In fact, Roger Self had asked his family to take away his guns, reports the New York Times. "I know what he did wasn't him," brother Monty Self tells WSOC. He says his brother, a volunteer youth minister, didn't recall what had happened afterward and was "distraught" when he was informed. "He was numb. He kept saying this was crazy." Monty Self said family members had been trying to get Roger Self the help he needed, "but we didn't act fast enough," he tells the Gaston Gazette. "We all feel a level of guilt," pastor Austin Rammell adds, per CBS News.

Rammell says Self had been confiding to those who knew him in recent weeks about his problems, but nobody thought it had gotten this bad. "There is no way the man I've known for 16 years could do this," he says. Police say Self left the restaurant where he was seated with his family—this apparently wasn't too odd because he got anxious in crowds—then began driving around the parking lot before ramming through the windows. He killed his 26-year-old daughter and 35-year-old daughter-in-law, as well as injuring his wife, son, and 13-year-old granddaughter. Self is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of daughter Katelyn Self, a corporal with the Gaston County Sheriff’s Department who was was due to be married in September, and emergency room nurse Amanda Self. (More North Carolina stories.)

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