The teen charged with a hate crime in connection with the fatal stabbing of O’Shae Sibley at a Brooklyn gas station initially identified as a Muslim before the brutal killing of the 28-year-old dancer. However, his family and lawyer are refuting those claims.
Dmitriy Popov, 17, was arrested on Friday and arraigned on multiple charges, including hate crime and second-degree murder. He is being prosecuted for the crime as an adult and appeared in court again on Monday for a procedural hearing, PIX11 reported.
Blavity noted Sibley, a gay Black man, was killed July 29 at a Brooklyn gas station after reportedly dancing and voguing with his friends to Beyoncé’s music. The 28-year-old and his friends were approached by another group who identified as Muslims.
Both parties exchanged words, and a witness told investigators Popov hurled homophobic slurs at Sibley. They heard him saying, “Stop dancing here. We are Muslim. Get that gay s**t out of here.” Moments later, the teen fatally stabbed Sibley in the chest, according to The Daily Beast.
Popov’s defense attorney Mark Pollard told PIX11 that despite previous reports, his client is a “good Christian boy,” not Muslim. He was born in the United States, and his parents are from Russia. Pollard also said the teen is a high school senior who worked two jobs and never had a criminal record.
Sibley’s mother, Onetha Sibley, shared her thoughts on Monday following Popov’s court hearing.
The grieving mother said she’s “overwhelmed” by everything but is “glad he’s off the streets.”
Sibley’s family and friends will gather to celebrate his life in his hometown of Philadelphia.
CBS News reported a funeral service for Sibley will occur on Tuesday. A viewing will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m. before the service at the Metropolitan Opera House.