O'Shae Sibley funeral: Dancer killed in NYC stabbing laid to rest back home in Philadelphia area

Family, friends and communities from Philadelphia and New York City gathered to celebrate the joyous life of O'Shae Sibley, which was tragically cut short during a possible hate crime.

The 28-year-old Philly native was stabbed to death while filling-up at a gas station in Brooklyn last month.

Investigators say Sibley, an openly gay man, and his friends were dancing to a Beyoncé song when they were confronted by a group of teens who allegedly used homophobic slurs and ordered them to stop.


Suspect in stabbing death of O'Shae Sibley has turned himself in to police, sources say

A suspect in the deadly stabbing of a O'Shae Sibley during a confrontation of a New York City gas station has tuned himself in to police, according to law enforcement sources.

Police say the fatal stabbing is being investigated as a hate crime after a 17-year-old high school student turned himself in several days later. He is being charged with hate-motivated murder for the deadly stabbing.

"O'Shae would have done everything in his power to stand up for what he believed in and to show it," said Otis Pena, a friend. " He encouraged us to stand out and be us."

Mourners who attended Tuesday's memorial service were given a tri-fold pamphlet that encapsulated O'Shae's lifelong passion for dance and devotion to his community. The service both those who knew O'Shae, and those in the LGBTQ community who felt the weight of his death. 

"The LGBTQ community is here, and we're here to stay – period," said Rasean Lopez. 

Security camera video showed the argument had broken up and both groups had walked away when Sibley and his friends abruptly returned and crossed a parking lot to confront the white 17-year-old, who was recording with his phone.

In the video, Sibley could be seen following the teen and then lunging at him. The stabbing happened out of a clear view of the cameras.

At least one witness told reporters some of the teens had objected to the dancers' behavior because they were Muslim. The mother and lawyer of the 17-year-old boy charged in the stabbing, though, said he is actually a Christian who wears a cross and goes to church.


Father of Philly native killed in possible NYC hate crime left searching for answers

The father of a Philadelphia native killed in a possible hate crime in New York City is searching for answers as he tries to cope with the unimaginable loss of his son.

Sibley moved from Philadelphia to New York City before the COVID pandemic in search of dance and choreography opportunities. He formerly attended Philadanco as a teenager before becoming an apprentice for the prestigious dance company.

A viewing for the beloved dancer was held at the historic Met opera house in Philadelphia, with a celebration of life to follow. Sibley is set to be laid to rest in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.

"To know O'Shae is to love O'Shae," his father Jake Kelly said. "He said he wanted to reach for the start and he did that, he always said ‘Dad, I want to be up there with the stars’ – you up there, son, you there!"

The Associated Press contributed to this story.