Gay man is fatally stabbed while dancing to Beyoncé at Brooklyn gas station

The NYPD’s hate crime task is investigating 28-year-old O’Shea Sibley’s fatal stabbing on Saturday night

Andrea Blanco
Tuesday 01 August 2023 16:57 BST
Fatal stabbing at Brooklyn gas station being investigated as possible hate crime

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A hate crimes investigation is underway after a gay man was stabbed to death while dancing at a gas station in New York City.

O’Shae Sibley, a 28-year-old professional dancer, was at a station in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Coney Island with friends late Saturday night when the deadly attack unfolded, the NYPD said.

The group had stopped to fill up their tank when another group of men approached them and told them to stop vogueing — a type of stylised modern dancing — to Beyoncé’s Renaissance .

Surveillance video obtained by The New York Post shows that an altercation broke out between the two groups around 11pm. Following Sibley’s stabbing, his friends rendered first aid and he was then taken to Maimonides Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The NYPD’s hate crimes task force is leading the investigation into Sibley’s killing. Law enforcement is now seeking to arrest a 17-year-old man who had allegedly told Sibley and his friends that he was offended because the men were dancing shirtless, according to the Post.

Sibley’s friend Otis Pena said he was celebrating his birthday with his friends and the group intended to drive to Mr Pena’s home, which is located two blocks from the crime scene, shortly before the professional dancer was stabbed in the chest.

“They killed him right in front of me. I’m covered in his blood. I was holding his stab wounds,” Mr Pena said through tears in a Facebook live after Sibley’s stabbing. “I was trying to put pressure on the wound and there was blood squirting everywhere ... They killed him right in my arms.”

Sibley’s neighbour Beckenbaur Hamilton said Sibley was known for his joyful character and elaborate dance performances.

O’Shea Sibley was stabbed to death at a gas station in the Brooklyn on Sturday night in what authroities suspect was a hate crime
O’Shea Sibley was stabbed to death at a gas station in the Brooklyn on Sturday night in what authroities suspect was a hate crime (Facebook/O’Shea Sibley)

“[I’m] sad. I’m so angry, really angry and that’s a life lost over a simple thing. They could have argued and could’ve talked and just left. They didn’t have to bring the violence in,” Mr Hamilton told CBS.

Sibley had performed at Lincoln Center and was a member of the modern dance company Ailey Extension. The organisation issued a statement mourning SIbley’s death, noting that he was loved by his instructors and fellow classmates.

Sibley was a proffesional dancer and had been vogueing shortly before he was attacked
Sibley was a proffesional dancer and had been vogueing shortly before he was attacked (Facebook/Otis Pena )

“O’Shae was a cherished and devoted Ailey Extension student,” the release said. “We are shocked and heartbroken that O’Shae’s life has been taken by senseless violence and extend our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.

Sibley’s father Jake Kelly has started a GoFundMe page to raise funds for funeral costs.

“O’shae not only was the glue to this family, he was a great dancer and performer for the majority of his life,” the grieving father wrote in the fundraiser’s description. “His spirit lit up every room he stepped in. His smile was contagious.”

No arrests have been made as of Tuesday morning.

The NYPD is asking anyone with information to contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

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