Possessed singer Jeff Becerra, who was paralyzed in a 1989 shooting incident, walked for the first time in more than 30 years. On Saturday (September 18th), the pioneering death metal vocalist shared video of himself walking with the aid of robotic legs.
The 90-second video shows Becerra walking down a hallway, with a small team of medical personnel helping him. Along with the clip, he wrote, “I walked again for the first time in over 30 years with the help of robotic legs #jeffbecerra #possessed #possessedband #rewalk #rewalkrobotics #smallmiracles.”
Becerra was paralyzed from the chest down during a 1989 robbery. He described the incident during a 2019 interview with The Underground Metal Gamer (via Blabbermouth). “I’ve been in a wheelchair longer than I’ve been walking,” he began. “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 f**king money.’
He continued, “I kind of resisted; I should have just given them the money, but I was f**ked, I was cornered. 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. The first guy pushed a 9-millimeter to my chest [points to bullet hole]. It broke through the ribs and shattered the lungs and stuck on in the spine, so I still have a 9-millimeter slug stuck on the vertebrate T3.”
Becerra joined Possessed in 1983 following the suicide of their original singer Barry Fisk. He sang on their debut LP, 1985’s Seven Churches, considered by many to be the first-ever death metal album, as well as the follow-up, 1986’s Beyond the Gates. However, the band broke up in 1987.
A new version of Possessed formed in 1990 without Becerra, but disbanded in 1993. In 2007, Becerra formed yet another incarnation of Possessed, and has been fronting the band ever since, performing in his wheelchair at concerts. They released their first album in 33 years, Revelations of Oblivion, in 2019.
See video of Jeff Becerra walking again for the first time since 1989 in the Instagram clip below.