Malcolm Shabazz

Malcolm Shabazz, the 28-year-old grandson of civil rights leader Malcolm X, was killed in Mexico; this news was confirmed through social media by Terrie Williams, a friend of the Shabazz family.

"I'm confirming, per U.S. Embassy, on behalf of the family, the tragic death of Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X. Statement from family to come," wrote close friend of the Shabazz family Terrie M. Williams on Twitter and Facebook.

Reports indicate that Shabazz died of injuries sustained during a robbery in Mexico City.

"He was murdered. He was in Mexico City and I believe they attempted to rob him and he didn't allow it, so they beat him to death and he died on his way to the hospital," according to Juan Ruiz, a member of the California-based labor organization Rumec. "This is all I can confirm, everything else is under investigation for the meantime."

Shabazz is the son of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz's second daughter, Qubilah Shabazz. Shabazz has experiences trouble with the law throughout his life; at the age of 12 he set fire to his grandmother's apartment in Yonkers. She was seriously injured in from the flames and as a result died from those injuries three weeks later. Shabazz pleaded guilty to second-degree arson and second-degree manslaughter; he was sentenced to 18 months in an out-of-state juvenile detention facility.

In 2002, Shabazz plead guilty to attempted robbery and sentenced to three and a half years in prison. Months after his release in 2006, he was arrested again for punching a hole in a store window.

However, in recent years Shabazz has been cleaning up his act, traveling the United States and elsewhere, speaking about the "struggles that confront this generation." According to his blog, which features a number of personal photographs, Shabazz also was working on a book.

"I mentored him and he did a lot of work with us in terms of speaking to young people," Williams said. "He was a very, very powerful brother."

Shabazz is survived by his mother and two daughters.

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