Jeff Becerra, vocalist and bassist for US death metal outfit Possessed, has walked again for the first time in over 30 years.
In 1989, Becerra was held up at gunpoint and shot twice in an armed robbery, leaving him paralysed from the chest down. In the decades since, the frontman has been wheelchair-bound.
Now Becerra has shared a video of himself taking his first few steps since the accident, with help from robotic legs. The footage – posted to Possessed’s Instagram page on September 18 – was captioned “I walked again! I walked again for the first time in over 30 years with the help of robotic legs”.
Scott Ian of ‘Big Four’ outfit Anthrax commented on the post saying, “This is so fucking awesome. Cheers brother!!!” Exodus/Slayer member Gary Holt, Prika Amara from Nervosa and Anders Odden of Cadaver also left comments of support.
“I’ve been in a wheelchair longer than I’ve been walking,” he said. “It’s my normal. It wasn’t so much of an accident — I got shot by two different guns in a robbery. I was doing concrete construction. I worked something like 13 hours that day. I stopped to get a pack of Camels [cigarettes] and I guess I flashed a hundred [dollar bill] and on the way out, two guys in hoods, little ninja guys came running up with guns: ‘Give me all of your fucking money.’
“I kind of resisted; I should have just given them the money, but I was fucked, I was cornered,” he continued. “It’s not the first time I had a gun pointed at me and I knew they meant business. We scuffled, there was no way out of it and I ended up getting shot a couple of times.”
Becerra spent the next five years following the shooting battling drug and alcohol addictions before getting clean and undertaking a college degree. After a 16-year hiatus, he brought back Possessed in 2007 and has since toured regularly with them whilst performing in a wheelchair.
Possessed shared their third album ‘Revelations Of Oblivion’ in 2019, more than three decades after their first two releases: ‘Seven Churches’ (1985) and ‘Beyond The Gates’ (1986).