Teen accused of killing New York dancer O’Shea Sibley faces hate crime charges as an adult

The teenager who fatally stabbed O’Shae Sibley for dancing at a Brooklyn gas station is facing criminal charges as an adult on hate crime charges, officials announced Thursday.

According to officials and court documents, Dmitriy Popov was charged Thursday with second-degree murder as a hate crime for allegedly stabbing Sibley while the professional dancer was performing a Beyoncé song in Coney Island.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced that the 17-year-old accused murderer would be tried as an adult in the juvenile section of the Supreme Court.

Gonzalez did not name Popov as the killer, but records show he was arrested and charged with the hateful assault.

Popov, an aspiring senior at The Professional Pathways Sheepshead High School, has had no incidents with the police, according to files.

He faces 20 years in prison for stabbing 28-year-old Sibley in the chest at around 11 p.m. on July 29 at a mobile station on Coney Island Avenue while he was dancing with friends.

“They were themselves, dancing happily to Beyoncé music at a gas station in Brooklyn,” Gonzalez said over the din of pouring rain and honking cars.

O'Shae Sibley
O’Shae Sibley was stabbed last week after a group of teenagers claimed they were offended by his dancing.
Say O. Dumure Versailles/Facebook

“We pledge to the family that we will pursue a vigorous and thorough prosecution.”

The Brooklyn prosecutor said his team is taking the case against Popov – whose name has not yet been released by officials – “very seriously”.

Gonzalez called the “fatal act” an event that has spread throughout Brooklyn and spotlights the anti-LGBTQ+ attitudes that continue to prevail in the Big Apple.

Eric Gonzalez at a press conference.
Eric Gonzalez announced the 17-year-old suspect would face an adult trial in the Supreme Court.
Sarah Goodman for NY Post

People dance in fashion style during a vigil in memory of O'Shae Sibley at a gas station on Friday, August 4, 2023
People dance in fashion style during a vigil in memory of O’Shae Sibley at a gas station on Friday, August 4, 2023

“The entire community has been a victim of this incident,” Gonzalez said.

“I think there’s something special about hate crimes: hate crimes don’t just affect the family, but the sense of security of the whole community.”

Popov’s attorney dismissed the claims, saying the teenager was a “good Christian boy” — not a Muslim, as officials originally claimed — whose parents immigrated to Brooklyn from Russia.

Defense attorney Mark Pollard said PIX 11 that the police failed to collect the knife Popov allegedly used to kill Sibley.

People participate in a memorial march for O'Shae Sibley on August 5, 2023 in New York City.
People participate in a memorial march for O’Shae Sibley on August 5, 2023 in New York City.
Getty Images

Otis Pena
Otis Pena, a friend, reacts during Sibley’s funeral ceremony at Fernwood Cemetery in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania on August 8, 2023.

“If they found a knife, I didn’t hear it in court,” Pollard said.

When asked if Popov was present at the scene the night of Sibley’s death, Pollard replied, “No comment.”

Pollard did not immediately respond to the Post’s request for comment.

Popov surrendered to police last week after police uncovered surveillance footage of the deadly attack outside the Bolla Mobile station at Coney Island Avenue and Avenue P, records show.

O'Shae Sibley
Sibley’s alleged killer faces 20 to life imprisonment.
Say O. Dumure Versailles/Facebook

The 17-year-old and Sibley were among two large groups who fell out after Popov and his friends allegedly told Sibley’s group they were offended by the scantily clad dancers.

The two groups then face each other and exchange words for several minutes before briefly dissolving – and then facing each other again.

Popov allegedly hurled homophobic and racist slurs at Sibley before ramming the gun through Sibley’s chest from behind a black SUV.

Officials said the attack was clearly a hate crime.


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing diza@ustimetoday.com.

Related Articles

Back to top button