Christian Teen Suspected of Killing Gay Man in Violent Stabbing Attack

A Black gay dancer and choreographer in New York City was stabbed to death following a confrontation with a group of young men at a gas station in Brooklyn on July 29th. The Hate Crimes Task Force of the New York Police Department (NYPD) is investigating the crime.

The victim was identified as 28-year-old O’Shae Sibley, who moved to New York City from Philadelphia in 2019. He was featured in many works such as “Soft: A Love Letter to Black Queer Men,” a 2021 video by award-winning director and choreographer Kemar Jewel, and “An Electric Dance to the Movement of Time,” a 2022 digital media exhibition by Jacolby Satterwhite shown at the Lincoln Center.

The incident occurred around 11:15 PM on July 29th, when Sibley and a group of friends arrived at a Mobil gas station in Brooklyn’s Midwood neighborhood. While waiting for their car to fill up, Sibley and his four friends, all shirtless and wearing pink swim trunks, were vogue dancing to a song from Beyoncé’s Rennaissance album.

A group of young men exiting from the gas station’s convenience store began harassing Sibley’s group and told them to stop dancing. Surveillance footage shows Sibley and his friends exchanging heated words with the young men, with the suspect wearing a black t-shirt and red shorts, recording the altercation using his phone. Some witnesses said the young men used anti-Black and anti-LGBTQIA+ slurs against Sibley and his group.

You like girls, you look like you’re into girls, but we are not into girls,” one of the witnesses, Summy Ullah, recalled Sibley and his friends telling the group of young men. “We have our own life. We can do whatever we want, you know. We’re dancing, that’s our life.

Even though Ullah tried to diffuse the situation, the tensions between the two groups continued to escalate. Sibley’s group went to the storefront to confront another group, where a fight broke out between Sibley and the suspect, who was still recording the incident using his phone. The suspect stabbed Sibley in the torso, piercing his heart, and quickly fled the scene in a black SUV.

He had a problem with them dancing, he wanted them to stop dancing, he started arguing with them. And then after a few fights and back and forth arguing, he pulled out a knife and stabbed him,” Sayeda Haider, another witness, told NBC News New York.

Sibley was rushed to the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, where he passed away.

During an interview with the New York Times, Kemar Jewel said that Otis Pena, who was with Sibley at the gas station, narrated the scene to him and said he and Sibley told the young men to “stop saying that. There is nothing wrong with being gay.

Summy Ullah told reporters that he heard the young men citing their Muslim faith as their reason for telling Sibley and his group to stop dancing.

They were saying, ‘Oh, we’re Muslim, so don’t do this in front of me,’” Ullah told the New York Daily News. “From that, I think it looks like a hate crime.

But Mark Pollard, the suspect's defense attorney, identified as 17-year-old Dmitriy Popov, said that Popov was “a good Christian boy.” NYPD arrested Popov after he turned himself in through his lawyers after evading law enforcement for days by shaving his head and turning off his phone.

Popov was believed to be working at a smoke shop near the gas station where he allegedly killed Sibley and had previously caused trouble.

The statement by Popov’s defense attorney may cast doubt on the statement released by witnesses like Ullah and court investigators, as court documents note that Popov said: “Stop dancing here. We are Muslim. Get that gay s**t out of here.

If it’s easily proven beyond a reasonable doubt, let’s just say, that he’s Christian and he’s not Muslim, it casts a lot of doubt on whatever witnesses are saying,” Arthur Aidala, an attorney who’s familiar with the case but not working on it, said.

Popov’s mother, who only identifies herself as “Lana,” also came to her son’s defense and authenticated Pollard’s statements, saying that Dmitriy was a “good boy” who regularly went to church.

My heart goes out to the family of Mr. Sibley,” Lana said. “I know they are in pain as we are as well. My son is a good boy. He was working at two jobs and goes to church and school. He is not that what’s being said about him.

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