Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of civil rights leader Malcolm X, was slain in Mexico on Thursday and new details are slowly emerging about the circumstances surrounding his death.
On Friday, family friend Terrie Williams, Shabbaz’ mentor, released a statement announcing that the U.S. Embassy had confirmed the 29-year-old activist’s tragic death after succumbing to injuries he suffered during an attempted robbery.
He was transported to Mexico City’s Balbuena General Hospital on Thursday and died shortly afterward. Shabazz may have refused to give in to a robbery attempt while visiting a recreational facility and his attackers beat him profusely, news sources are reporting.
Police spokesman Octavio Campos has said prosecutors are investigating the death as a homicide, CNN confirms.
Juan Ruiz, a member of the California-based labor organization Rumec, told Talking Points Memo that Shabazz was in Mexico City with one of the group’s leaders, Miguel Suarez, who had been deported from the United States last month and wanted to help share the story with local media.
“To all who knew him, he offered kindness, encouragement and hope for a better tomorrow,” the Shabazz family said in a statement on Friday. “Although his bright light and boundless potential are gone from this life, we are grateful that he now rests in peace in the arms of his grandparents and the safety of God.”
The late Shabazz is infamously known for intentionally starting the fire that killed his grandmother, Betty Shabazz, in 1997.
Our prayers continue to be with the Shabbaz family at this time.