I just got back from a press conference at SPD headquarters where they confirmed the arrest of Rey Alberto Davis-Bell for the series of shootings yesterday at the Philly Cheese Steak restaurant at 23rd & Union and on Delridge in West Seattle, which resulted in the death of Degene Barecha, the restaurant’s owner, and the serious wounding of a customer at the store.
Yesterday afternoon Seattle Police, state police, and various federal agencies launched a large-scale manhunt for the suspect, including stationing detectives and other police units at a variety of locations where they thought Davis-Bell might be located. One of those stake-outs paid off this morning at 11:16am when officers saw the suspect in the backyard of a house they were monitoring in the 3700 block of South Cloverdale near Rainier Beach in South Seattle. Police made contact with the suspect and ended up in a foot pursuit after him for about three blocks, during which the suspect shed several pieces of clothing along the way. He was apprehended and arrested in the 3900 block of S. Kenyon.
Davis-Bell will be booked later today for investigation of homicide, investigation of 1st degree assault, and attempted murder.
Police said they are still working under the assumption that both the shooting on Delridge in West Seattle, and the murder at 23rd & Union were related to domestic violence. However, the Seattle Times has a very good article where they report that Davis-Bell was a known gang member who had attempted to sell drugs to customers at the restaurant, and had previous confrontations with the restaurant’s owner who was actively trying to clean up the area around his business. The Times also quotes an employee of the restaurant who said that the 2nd victim was just a customer who was shot as he tried to flee the violence in the store.
Police also spoke about a third shooting incident that happened in the Rainier Valley around 12:45 pm yesterday, an hour and a half after the shooting at 23rd & Union. Evidently an off-duty patrol officer heard several shots fired and spotted a vehicle leaving the area that matched the description of Davis-Bell’s car. However, he was in his personal vehicle and was not able to make a pursuit.
Kudos to Seattle Police who took a dangerous felon off the street just 24 hours after he allegedly murdered one man and injured another.