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5 Aug 2023

A 17-year-old has been arrested and charged with murder as a hate crime in the death of O’Shae Sibley on Saturday, a 28-year-old professional dancer who was fatally stabbed last weekend while dancing at a Brooklyn-area gas station.


People gather at a memorial for O’Shae Sibley on August 04.

Getty Images

The teenager—who was unnamed—was charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon, according to Joseph Kenny, an assistant chief at the New York Police Department.

A group of men—which included the teenager—approached Sibley and his friends as they danced to Beyoncé’s Renaissance album, before the men began yelling homophobic and racist slurs at Sibley, who remained as his friend group dispersed.

The suspect is then seen on video stabbing Sibley once in the chest, “damaging his heart,” according to Kenny, who added a witness said the teenager subsequently fled in a Toyota Highlander.

The suspect turned himself in on Friday through an arrangement with his lawyer.

The teenager—who lives in Brooklyn and attends a nearby high school—was charged with a hate crime “based on the statements from the group in general,” Kenny said.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the incident was “clearly” a hate crime, adding: “This is a city where you are free to express yourself, and that expression should never end with any form of violence.”

Beyoncé offered her support for Sibley on her website, which now reads in all-caps: “Rest in power O’Shae Sibley.” Oscar Award-winning director Spike Lee also honored Sibley with an Instagram post, indicating “Deadly gay hate crime here in Brooklyn. God bless you brother.”

Sibley, a professional dancer and choreographer, died on July 29 after confronting a group of men who told him and his friends to stop dancing at the Midwood Mobil gas station in Brooklyn, according to Sibley’s friends. Otis Pena, one of Sibley’s friends, said Sibley was murdered “because he’s gay, because he stood up for his friends.” The NYPD opened an investigation into Sibley’s death, noting its hate crimes unit was involved. The incident sparked backlash from the city’s LGBTQ+ community, including an event the following night at the gas station where attendees were encouraged to “vogue as an act of resistance.” Nearly 80 people mourned Sibley’s death at the Stonewall Inn—a Manhattan-based bar known for being the birthplace of the gay rights movement—on Thursday, according to the New York Times. Sibley’s death comes amid a rise in anti-LGBTQ+ incidents in the U.S., according to the Anti-Defamation League. The organization reported 356 incidents of anti-LGBTQ+ “hate and extremism” in the U.S. between last June 2022 and April 2023, including 40 incidents of vandalism and 11 incidents of assault.

Teenager Is Charged In Killing Of Dancer At Brooklyn Gas Station (New York Times)

Suspect In O’Shae Sibley Killing Charged With Murder (CNN)