The suspect in the deadly gas station stabbing of O’Shae Sibley is in police custody after turning himself in at a Brooklyn stationhouse, a senior law enforcement official said.
The suspect’s name has not yet been released by police. New York City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the man turned himself in on Friday and was in custody. A senior law enforcement official confirmed that the individual was in custody.
The news comes ahead of a planned memorial for Sibley, who was killed after a confrontation between a group of friends who were dancing to a Beyoncé song at a Mobil station in Midwood. As he and the group he was with were filling up their car with gas, according to a friend, another group of young men seemingly took offense to something.
While police have released few details on the investigation and haven’t discussed a motive, a friend who was there said in an emotional Facebook video that Sibley died “because he stood up for his friends.”
Otis Pena said in a Facebook video that Sibley, a 28-year-old professional dancer, and his friends were listening to Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” album “and just having a good time” when the attack went down shortly after.
The attack on Sibley, a gay man, outraged New York City’s LGBTQ community and spurred Beyoncé herself to post a tribute on her website. Initial reports widely described Sibley as having been stabbed while dancing, but security camera video shows a more complex situation.
A man was stabbed to death at a Brooklyn gas station after dancing shirtless with his friends by the pumps. Rana Novini reports.
Sibley performed with the dance company Philadanco in his native Philadelphia and in New York. He used dance to celebrate his LGBTQ identity in works such as “ Soft: A Love Letter to Black Queer Men,” choreographed by Kemar Jewel.
Video showed some of the men in Sibley’s group doing a dance-like strut by their car, shirtless in bathing suits. A short time later, Sibley walked to the gas station’s convenience store and started speaking with a young man, who appeared agitated. As they spoke, a small crowd gathered.
Sibley’s friends joined him and the group argues with the other individual for a couple minutes. Then both sides walked away, as Sibley and his friends went back to their car. Everyone else went inside the gas station convenience store —except for one person who stays outside recording with his phone.
Sibley was about to get into a car when he and a friend freeze, then briskly walked back toward the person with the phone as if he had said something that angered them.
The young man, who looked like he could’ve been be in his teens, stepped backwards as Sibley advanced. A man came out of the convenience store and stepped between them. Then, Sibley lunged around the man at the teen, who leapt backward. Both figures then moved out of view of the camera.
It isn’t clear from the video when Sibley was stabbed or who wielded the knife. A moment later he walked back into view looking stunned and checking his side.
Sibley was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.
A witness, Summy Ullah, told the Daily News the young men had been harassing Sibley’s group because their behavior offended them.
“They were saying, ‘Oh, we’re Muslim, so don’t do this in front of me,’” said Ullah, 32.
Ullah added, “Nothing else was going on. They were only dancing.” He said someone asked, “Why are you dancing in your underwear?”
In his video, posted hours after Sibley’s death, Pena choked back tears while recalling the stabbing of the man he called “the salt to my pepper, the peanut butter to my jelly.”
“They murdered him because he was gay,” he said.
A vigil is planned on Saturday at Manhattan’s LGBTQ Community Center. A celebration of life ceremony will take place Tuesday in Philadelphia. Beyoncé’s website now flashes the message “Rest in power O’Shae Sibley.”