Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of late civil rights leader Malcolm X, was killed in Mexico on Thursday, a close family friend said.
Shabazz, 28, is perhaps most widely known for intentionally starting a fire that killed his grandmother Betty Shabazz, 63, Malcolm X’s widow, in Yonkers in 1997.
He died of injuries suffered while being robbed in Tijuana early Thursday morning, according to media reports.
Terrie M. Williams, a Mount Vernon native who now runs The Terrie Williams Talent Agency in New York City, has worked closely with the Shabazz family and confirmed the man’s death.
“I’m confirming, per the U.S. Embassy, on behalf of the family, the tragic death of Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X,” she wrote on her Facebook and Twitter accounts. “Statement from family to come.”
Reached at her agency, Williams told The Journal News she had worked with Shabazz for a number of years.
“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.”
Officials at the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs did not immediately return a request for comment on the death.
Betty Shabazz was living in Yonkers when her grandson set fire to the apartment in which she was sleeping. She was seriously injured in the blaze, succumbing to those injuries three weeks later, on June 23, 1997.