Content warning: this story includes details a fatal act of violence that readers will find upsetting.

A 17-year-old has been arrested and charged with murder as a hate crime in connection to the fatal stabbing of O’Shae Sibley.

On 29 July, the openly gay professional dancer was stabbed while voguing outside a gas station near Coney Island. 

According to witnesses at the scene, O’Shae and his friends were enjoying their evening dancing to Beyoncé’s Renaissance album before a group of men approached them, spewing anti-LGBTQ+ and racial slurs. 

Things quickly escalated into a physical altercation between O’Shae and a member of the opposing group – who claimed that his dancing offended their faith. 

After the beloved choreographer was stabbed, his friends attempted to stop the bleeding before he was transported to Maimonides Medical Center – where he was later pronounced dead. 

“They murdered him because he’s gay, because he stood up for his friends. His name was O’Shae, and you all killed him. You murdered him right in front of me,” O’Shae’s friend Otis Pena said in a Facebook video.

After a week of searching, a 17-year-old suspect connected to O’Shae’s horrific murder turned himself in on 4 August. 

“The suspect in the fatal stabbing of O’Shae Sibley in my district last Saturday night just turned himself into the @NYPD61Pct & is now in their custody,” Councilwoman Inna Vernikov said in a statement on Twitter. 

“Wishing the family peace during this difficult time & hoping for swift justice & serious consequences for the perpetrator.” 

On 5 August, the suspect was charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon, per The New York Times. 

“This is a city where you are free to express yourself. And that expression should never end with any form of violence,” Mayor Eric Adams announced during a press conference. 

The recent development comes a day after LGBTQ+ activists held a vigil for the beloved performer near the gas station where he was killed.

“We’re flooding the streets in honor of O’Shea Sibley. The turnout is amazing,” one Twitter user wrote alongside a video of the emotional crowd.

“We are all here in love, everyone has been respectful, the traffic is cooperating. This is such a beautiful showcase of love. Rest well, O’Shea.”

The gathering featured heartwarming speeches and electric performances on the streets from members of the ballroom community. 

In addition to the aforementioned vigil, O’Shea’s life was honoured by various celebrities, including Janelle Monáe and Ellen DeGeneres. 

Beyoncé also paid tribute to the young performer on her website, writing: “Rest in power O’Shae Sibley.” 

A funeral for O’Shae is set to take place on 8 August. His father, Jake Kelly, currently has a GoFundMe set up to raise money for funeral costs.

See below for videos from the various vigils for O’Shae Sibley.