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"They Murdered Him Because He's Gay": Man's Gas Station Stabbing Death Being Investigated as Hate Crime

O'Shae Sibley, a professional dancer in NYC, was voguing to a Beyoncé song at a gas station when he was fatally stabbed in the torso after an altercation. 

By Elisabeth Ford
7 Facts About Hate Crimes In America

The stabbing death of a 28-year-old professional dancer and choreographer in front of a Brooklyn gas station over the weekend is being investigated as a hate crime.

O’Shae Sibley was dancing to a Beyoncé song at a gas station pump Saturday night when witnesses said he was approached by a group of men, who, after a dispute, stabbed Sibley in the torso, according to NBC News. He later died at the hospital.

Authorities say that a 17-year-old suspect remains at large, NBC New York reported, citing law enforcement sources. He was last seen wearing a black shirt and red shorts.

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"He had a problem with them dancing, he wanted them to stop dancing, he started arguing with them,” witness Sayeda Haider told the station. “And then after a few fights and back and forth arguing, he pulled out a knife and stabbed him.

The men who allegedly confronted Sibley to get him to stop dancing also directed homophobic slurs at the dancer, according to The New York Times.

“They murdered him because he’s gay, because he stood up for his friends,” Otis Pena, a friend of the victim who witnessed the incident, said in a Facebook video posted hours after the killing. “His name was O’Shae and you all killed him. You all murdered him right in front of me.”

While the investigation is ongoing, police said the hate crimes unit has become involved in the case.

A photo of O'Shae Sibley

Beyoncé, an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, addressed the death of the dancer who was killed while vogueing to her music.

“REST IN POWER O’SHAE SIBLEY,” reads a statement on the 41-year-old singer's official website.

The LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD also commented on the stabbing“Sibley’s shocking murder follows a disturbing rise in violence and harassment against LGBTQ people across the U.S.,” the organization stated. “This cannot continue. No one should have to fear for their safety just for being themselves.”

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Sibley — a dancer for troupes including Alvin Ailey and the Philadelphia Dance Company — is the fifth person in the country to be murdered in recent weeks in incidents that appeared to be LGBTQ+ related hate crimes, according to GLAAD.

In June, the Anti-Defamation League and GLAAD issued a report showing an increase in anti-LGBTQ+ incidents across the country. The two organizations said they tracked at least 356 accounts of anti-LGBTQ+ hate and extremism between June 2022 and April 2023. These incidents range “from demonstrations aiming to intimidate organizers and attendees at drag shows, to bomb threats against hospitals that offer health care for LGBTQ+ people,” the report states.

Openly gay New York State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal tweeted 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," he added. "Hate-fueled attacks are."

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