One year ago at 11:15am, Degene “Safie” Berecha was shot and killed in his sandwich shop at 23rd & Union by Rey Alberto Davis-Bell. It was the final act of Bell’s gun rampage that also wounded another man at Philly’s and narrowly missed the occupants of his ex-girlfriend’s apartment in West Seattle. The apparent motive behind the killing was Davis-Bell’s anger at having been kicked out of the restaurant on a previous occasion.
Bell was arrested the next day after a city-wide manhunt. He’s been locked up in the King County Jail ever since, awaiting trial on charges of murder, assault, and attempted murder. But the wheels of justice turn slowly: his trial date is currently scheduled for October 19th of this year.
A full year later, the Philly’s building still stands vacant at the corner of 23rd & Union, for-lease signs hanging in the windows. I’m guessing that the economic climate may keep it that way for quite some time.
Refer to our archive for the full list of stories on the Philly’s murder and more.