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O’Shae Sibley tributes pour in as search for suspect in Brooklyn stabbing continues

Related video: Beyoncé pays tribute to fan who was fatally stabbed

A teenager is being sought after 28-year-old professional dancer O’Shae Sibley was stabbed to death while vogueing to Beyonce at a gas station in Brooklyn.

Mr Sibley, who was working as a dancer in New York and Philadelphia, was voguing at the gas station on Saturday night when he was reportedly approached by a group of men who told him to stop.

Witnesses have revealed that the group said they didn’t like that Mr Sibley and his friends were dancing and they made homophobic comments.

Police said later that a 17-year-old boy in a black shirt and red shorts brought out a knife and stabbed Mr Sibley in the chest. He died from his injuries.

Mr Sibley’s friend Otis Pena spoke about his last moments in a video shared on Facebook.

“They killed him right in front of me,” he said. “I see him wobbling and I had to run to him and hold his wound as blood is dripping on my hands, as blood is on my clothes.”

A hate crimes investigation has now been launched.

Meanwhile, Beyonce paid tribute to the dancer by writing “Rest in power O’Shea Sibley” on her website.


What happened?

Otis Pena, who was with Sibley when he was killed, said in an emotional Facebook video posted on the night of the stabbing that a group of friends were celebrating his birthday when they had stopped a few blocks from his home to fill up their car.

He said he and Sibley were “just pumping gas and listening to [Beyoncé’s album] Renaissance and having a good time”.

Mr Pena said that as the confrontation ensued, he saw Sibley wobbling on his feet after being stabbed, and rushed over to try to administer care.

“I’m trying to put pressure on the wound, and there’s blood squirting everywhere… I’m covered in his blood,” Mr Pena said through tears. “They killed my brother right in front of me.”

“O’Shae was just trying to tell people ‘we may be gay’ and they stabbed him right in the heart,” he continued, breaking down.

“They murdered him because he was gay, because he stood up for his friends. All because he wanted people to know that we are gay.”

Bevan Hurley2 August 2023 20:00


Sibley pronounced dead shortly after being taken to hospital

Sibley’s friends tried to apply pressure to the wound, and police arrived at 11.15pm to find Sibley bleeding heavily on a sidewalk.

He was taken to Maimonides Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after.

The NYPD have reportedly identified a 17-year-old suspect who fled the scene, but are yet to make any arrests.

The department’s hate crimes unit is investigating Sibley’s violent death as a possible anti-LGBT+ hate crime.

The killing has attracted national attention due to its alleged homophobic nature, as attacks on the LGBT+ community are increasing.

Beyoncé, who was performing nearby at New York’s MetLife stadium on the night Sibley was killed, paid tribute to the dancer, choreographer and model, who family say was cut down “in his prime”.

Bevan Hurley2 August 2023 19:30


O’Shae Sibley was stabbed to death for the crime of being ‘Black, gay and dancing’

On a steamy Saturday night, the 28-year-old professional dancer took off his shirt and was “voguing” — a dance form popularised by the LGBT+ community — to Beyoncé’s Renaissance album with a friend on the station forecourt.

Just after 11pm, a separate group of young men allegedly began hurling homophobic insults saying that they didn’t like “gay dancing” in their neighbourhood, according to eyewitnesses.

Sibley confronted the men, surveillance footage recovered from the gas station shows.

After briefly separating, the clash turned violent, and Sibley was stabbed in the heart during a scuffle.

Read more:

Bevan Hurley2 August 2023 19:00


‘Being a New Yorker means knowing and loving people of all backgrounds,’ mayor says

New York Mayor Eric Adams said that “O’Shae Sibley’s life and beautiful spirit were cut short by homophobia. Bigotry can never take root in our city.”

“Being a New Yorker means knowing and loving people of all backgrounds. We’ll bring justice for O’Shae’s family and loved ones. His dancing joy will live on,” he added.

Gustaf Kilander2 August 2023 18:30


‘Dancing and expressing yourself openly is a beautiful act of love,’ NY AG says

New York Attorney General Letitia James tweeted on Tuesday that “Dancing and expressing yourself openly is a beautiful act of love, not a reason to be murdered. O’Shae Sibley should still be alive, and my heart is with his friends, family, and the #LGBTQ+ community. Justice must be served”.

Gustaf Kilander2 August 2023 18:00


‘He was goofy and funny and full of life and energy’

Director and choregrapher Kemar Jewel told the New York Daily News that Mr Sibley moved to New York not long after himself because he liked how the city was alive 24/7.

“We just enjoy the vibe better because we’re night owls and love to go out to the club and there was just more to do. And also we’re also all professional artists,” Mr Jewel told the paper.

“He was goofy and funny and full of life and energy. And he always knew how to make people smile. I think that those are his best attributes — that he made everyone smile,” he added.

“He also volunteered at dance studios to help teach folks. He volunteered at youth centers and he offered free classes and stuff. He definitely loved to give back,” Mr Jewel said.

Gustaf Kilander2 August 2023 17:30


‘He was excited to be outside on the front lines, using his body as a way of protest’

Director and choregrapher Kemar Jewel told the New York Daily News that Sibley was an advocate.

“He was out at a lot of marches, a lot of protests,” Jewel told the paper. “He was excited to be outside on the front lines, using his body as a way of protest.”

Sibley moved to Brooklyn in 2019, before which he was part of Philidanco, a dance company in Philadelphia.

“He was a member of the principal cast of the Philadelphia dance company,” Jewel said. “In the art world, in Philadelphia, that’s very prestigious.”

Gustaf Kilander2 August 2023 17:00


‘You won’t always find dancers that are good at mixing styles seamlessly’

Director and choregrapher Kemar Jewel told the New York Daily News that Sibley “was really good at adding ballet stuff to a tap number or voguing to a hip hop number”.

“You probably can find dancers that are versatile, but you won’t always find dancers that are good at mixing styles seamlessly,” Jewel said.

Sibley appeared in Jewel’s 2021 video Soft: A Love Letter to Black Queer Men.

“He really, really loved Soft,” Jewel told the paper. “He helped to talk me through it and breath life into it.”

Gustaf Kilander2 August 2023 16:40


‘Despite homophobes’ best efforts, gay joy is not crime’

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal tweeted on Monday that he was “Heartbroken and enraged to learn about O’Shae Sibley’s death this weekend in New York. Despite homophobes’ best efforts, gay joy is not crime. Hate-fueled attacks are”.

Gustaf Kilander2 August 2023 16:20


VIDEO: Fatal stabbing at Brooklyn gas station

Fatal stabbing at Brooklyn gas station

Gustaf Kilander2 August 2023 16:00

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