Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of Malcolm X, was killed in Mexico Thursday morning, the Amsterdam News is reporting.
Citing the U.S. Embassy and an apparent close friend of the Shabazz family, the News reported that he was confirmed dead, possibly the victim of a robbery. Unconfirmed reports allege Shabazz was thrown off a building or shot.
When Shabazz was a teenager, he worked closely with Williams, who is a publicist, social worker and author of inspirational books. He even worked for her as a public speaker, warning other teens to avoid pitfalls he had experienced in his own life. Williams also posted the news on her Facebook page and added that a family statement will be forthcoming.
Shabazz had a checkered past, but was working on two books and attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice when he went to Mexico. It is still unclear what the purpose of his trip was, but family members confirmed he was there.
On June 1, 1997, a 12-year-old Shabazz set fire to the Yonkers apartment of his grandmother, Malcolm X’s widow, Betty Shabazz. Betty, a civil rights leader, died on June 23 of that year of injuries sustained in the blaze.
He was sentenced to 18 months in a juvenile detention center in August 1997. He was also sentenced to three and a half years in prison for a beating and robbery of a teenager in Middletown, N.Y. when he was 17.
Shabazz is survived by his two daughters.