NEW YORK (PIX11) – The teen accused of fatally stabbing O’Shae Sibley at a Brooklyn gas station was arraigned Friday.
Dmitriy Popov, 17, appeared at Kings County Supreme Court just days after Sibley’s funeral in Philadelphia. A grand jury indicted Popov on murder as a hate crime Thursday.
“O’Shae came to New York to follow his dream and brightened our city with his light,” District Attorney Gonzalez said. “There is no tolerance for hate in Brooklyn, where we value our diversity, inclusion, and the freedom to be who we are.”
According to the criminal complaint, Popov made homophobic and racist comments before allegedly stabbing Sibley. Witnesses said 28-year-old Sibley was dancing shirtless to Beyoncé at the time.
Popov allegedly said it went against his Muslim faith, according to the complaint. The Brooklyn District Attorney said it’s prosecuting the case as a hate crime.
Sibley attempted to diffuse the situation and allegedly stated, “You don’t know us, we’re just having a good time and enjoying our lives. It’s all respect, we’re allowed to be here just like you.”
Popov’s friends left at some point, but Popov remained outside the gas station store, recording on his cellphone and allegedly continuing to antagonize the group with hateful remarks. When Sibley and two of his friends confronted Popov, he allegedly reached into his pocket and pointed a knife at one of Sibley’s friends, threatening to stab him.
Popov then allegedly stabbed Sibley, officials said. Sibley was pronounced dead at Maimonides Hospital a short time later.
The Brooklyn District Attorney said it’s prosecuting the case as a hate crime.
Sibley was a professional dancer. His sisters told PIX11 News they want Popov and the friends he was with to take ownership of what happened.
Popov could face 20 to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.