BROOKLYN, NY - Friends and neighbors of 28-year-old O'Shae Sibley are remembering the joy he brought to their lives, and are mourning his loss. They are upset that an argument Saturday night at a gas station on Coney Island Avenue in the Midwood section of Brooklyn turned deadly. Now, NYPD detectives are investigating it as a possible hate crime as they search for the suspects.
"That's a life lost over a simple thing. They could have just argued, they could have talked. They didn't have to bring the violence," Beckenbauer Hamilton, a friend of the victim, told FOX 5 New York.
"It is so sad, he loved everybody, everybody on the block." Lily told FOX 5, adding that every time she would see Sibley, he was dancing. "I don't want to keep talking about it because I don't want to cry."
Customers at the Mobil gas station on Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn are unpacking news they can barely believe.
He and his son were both at the gas station moments before the crime scene tape would go up making the deadly crime scene an evident reality.
"She goes oh my God. You were there at 10:40 when I faced times you. What about? She goes someone got killed as soon as you left," the customer told FOX 5 Sunday.
The vicious murder is sending shockwaves through Brooklyn and making some men here feel uneasy.
"I may not be open like O"Shae, but I'm still going to be myself. I may die doing it, but I'm going to be myself," Hamilton said.
Surveillance video shows two groups of men getting into a heated argument.
Witness statements to police confirmed the group of men were yelling derogatory insults at a group of shirtless men just outside the gas station Saturday night.
Moments later, police said around 11:15 p.m., one of the men pulled a knife, stabbing the victim multiple times.
"It should have never escalated to this point where someone has to lose their lives by dancing and having fun and someone on the street clearly had a problem," said one witness.
The impulsive act of violence left the group of men hysterical as Sibley was left laying on the ground losing blood.
He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Neighbors were stunned by the news
"That’s something new. It’s really out of character because I mean that don’t really go in around here. I don’t see that going on," one resident shared.
Members of the community expressed their shock and fear surrounding the senseless stabbing worried the man behind the knife is still on the loose.
"I hope it’s not a hate crime because then at this point we’re in 2023. There’s no reason for someone to get stabbed just for their sexuality," the neighbor told FOX 5.
Midwood residents said they’re hopeful for justice for the victim and his loved ones.
"Sad to say I feel like hate crimes have been on the rise the last couple years, especially around COVID. I’ve been seeing it a lot on the news. Jewish hate crime, Muslim hate crime, gay hate crime all of that," the resident said.
O'Shae Sibley, was from Philadelphia, where he was a performer in the prominent Philadelphia Dance Company. Here in New York, he performed at Lincoln Center.
The Bias Crimes Task Force is investigating as the search for the suspects goes on, according to law enforcement.