Roger Self is a 62-year-old former police officer from Gaston, North Carolina. He runs a private investigation business, mostly investigating employee wrongdoing – at least he did until he ran his car through the window of a restaurant. For unknown reasons, Self excused himself from a recent family brunch, only to ram his car through the window and kill both his daughter and his daughter-in-law.
Before she was fatally struck by her father, Katelyn Self worked her way up to corporal in the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office. Self’s daughter-in-law Amanda was a nurse, wife and a mother of three beautiful children.
Both of them have been taken from this world far too young, and all that we are left with are questions as to why this seemingly normal man decided to go on a manic rampage.
Details have emerged in the days since that clear out the fog a bit. According to family members, Self had been suffering from severe mental illness in the weeks leading up to the incident.
He had asked his family to take away his guns, apparently fearing that he may become violent or out of control. No amount of pleas for help could have helped the family predict that he would murder two of his immediate family members and injure essentially every single one of them.
Police have not reported a motive for his disturbing actions, and as of now all we can do is speculate what caused this severe mental break.
Self’s pastor saw him at church with his family just hours before the double-homicide. He told Daily Mail about all of the warning signs that Self gave off – but in the end, it didn’t help.
“His family and close friends have intensely labored to try and get Roger help. We all feel a level of guilt,” Rev. Austin Rammell said. “It’s very possible that in his mind, he was thinking the best thing for this family was that they all go to heaven together.”
Self has now been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, in addition to a slew of other charges. His terrifying actions put his wife Dianne and his son Josh in critical condition.
The family was having a good time at brunch, ordering drinks and joking around when Self made his way outside. It apparently didn’t bother the family, as they thought he was simply having another anxiety episode.
This particular episode ended in tragedy and sadly leaves the family with so many questions and no reasonable answers. Their beloved wives, mothers, and daughters have been taken from them by the man who is supposed to be taking care of his family.
Mental illness is not something you can pray away. It is not something that can be solved by ignoring the issue and hoping it goes away. If you fear that you might hurt yourself or someone else, get yourself to a hospital immediately and seek the medical treatment that severe anxiety, depression, and psychosis demand. There is no shame in seeking help and this is a horrific example of what can happen when mental illness isn’t given the respect it deserves.
Keep this family in your thoughts and always pay attention and love those around you. What might seem like anxiety can turn out to be a serious issue and we need to do a better job of diagnosing and treating these people. Self is certainly going to pay the price for his crime, but nothing the law can do will bring these two beautiful women back from the dead.