NYC stabbing: Teen named, arraigned by District Attorney in O'Shae Sibley death

Sibley was fatally stabbed on July 29.

August 11, 2023, 12:52 PM

A grand jury has indicted Dmitriy Popov, the 17-year-old accused of fatally stabbing 28-year-old professional dancer O'Shae Sibley.

Popov of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, was arraigned Friday before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Craig Walker on charges of second-degree murder as a hate crime, second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime, first-degree manslaughter, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and related counts.

"O'Shae came to New York to follow his dream and brightened our city with his light," Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement. "We honor his life, celebrate his courage, and commit to hold accountable the individual allegedly responsible for this horrific murder.

Popov pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to WABC. He is being held without bail and was ordered to return to court on Oct. 10, 2023.

"If convicted of the top count, [O'Shae] faces a minimum of 20 years to life and a maximum of 25 years to life," Gonzalez stated. "O’Shae and his friends were targeted for being themselves, dancing joyfully and harming no one. There is no tolerance for hate in Brooklyn, where we value our diversity, inclusion and the freedom to be who we are."

People attend the burial of the former "Philadanco!" dancer O'Shae Sibley, who was stabbed to death in Brooklyn, at Fernwood Cemetery in Lansdowne, Penn., Aug. 8, 2023.
Hannah Beier/Reuters

According to Gonzalez, Sibley and four of his friends stopped to fill up their car with gas after a day at the beach. One member of the group danced outside the vehicle as music from inside the car continued to play.

"The defendant and two associates then exited the gas station store and allegedly hurled homophobic and racist slurs at the men," according to Gonzalez.

"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," Sibley replied, according to Gonzalez.

Popov remained outside the gas station store, recording on his cellphone and "allegedly continuing to antagonize the group with hateful remarks," Gonzalez said.

When confronted by Sibley and two of his friends, Popov allegedly threatened one of Sibley’s friends with a knife, according to Gonzalez.

A makeshift memorial for O'Shae Sibley, a 28-year-old who was killed while dancing to a Beyonce song, sits near the site of the stabbing death at a gas station in Brooklyn, New York, on Aug. 7, 2023.
Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Sibley was struck with a sharp object on the left side of his ribcage, "piercing his chest and damaging his heart," according to the criminal complaint of the incident.

Popov turned himself into police through an arrangement with his lawyer.

"Nothing about his past or history shows that he's the type of person to commit this crime," Popov's attorney Mark Pollard told reporters outside court Friday, according to CBS News.

He continued, saying his client is "sorrowful, he's sad, he's afraid -- as he should be at 17 years old -- but he has faith and he prays, and he has great family support and he's hanging in there."

ABC News has reached out to Popov's legal representation for comment.

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