MEXICO CITY -- Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of political activist Malcolm X, died while traveling in Mexico, U.S. officials confirmed Friday. He was 28.
Two U.S. officials said Shabazz was killed Thursday morning in Mexico City. They did not provide additional details. Shabazz family publicist Terrie Williams confirmed the death and said the family would issue a statement later.
Labor activist Miguel Suarez said he was with Shabazz when his friend was beaten up during a dispute over a bill at a Mexico City bar.
Suarez said he later found Shabazz injured outside the bar and took him to a hospital where he died on Thursday.
Shabazz was born in 1984 to Qubilah Shabazz, one of six daughters of Malcolm X and his wife, Betty Shabazz. Qubilah was 4 years old when she saw her father shot to death as he delivered a speech in a Harlem ballroom in 1965.
In June 1997, Malcolm Shabazz, then 12, set a fire at Betty Shabazz's home. She died from severe burns, and he served 4 years in juvenile detention.
He later expressed regret for his actions, telling The New York Times in 2003 that he would sit on his jail cot and ask for a sign of forgiveness from his dead grandmother.
"I just wanted her to know I was sorry and I wanted to know she accepted my apology, that I didn't mean it," he said. "But I would get no response, and I really wanted that response."
In recent years, Shabazz said he was writing a memoir and traveling the United States to speak out against youth violence.
He proudly embraced his grandfather's legacy, describing himself on his Twitter page as "Grandson, name-sake and first male heir of the greatest revolutionary leader of the 20th century." -- AP