The news outlet, citing the US Embassy as the source of the information, is reporting that Shabazz, 29, was killed today, Thursday, May 9. The report says he died from injuries sustained after being thrown off building as he was being robbed in Tijuana, Mexico
“I’m confirming, per US Embassy, on bhalf of family, the tragic death of Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X. Statement from family 2 come,” wrote close friend of the Shabazz family Terrie M. Williams (@TerrieWilliams) on twitter.
Early reports said he was shot and information is still coming in.
Malcolm Shabazz is survived by his three year old daughter, Ilyasah, his mother, Qubilah, and his closest aunt Ilyasah.
On June 1, 1997, Shabazz, then twelve years of age, started a fire in Betty Shabazz’s apartment. She suffered burns over 80 percent of her body. Shabazz was found by police, wandering the streets barefoot and reeking of gasoline. Betty Shabazz died of her injuries on June 23, 1997. At a hearing, experts described Shabazz as psychotic and schizophrenic. He was also described as “brilliant but disturbed.” He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in juvenile detention for manslaughter and arson, with possible annual extensions until his 18th birthday.
Shabazz was released after four years. In a 2003 interview with The New York Times, Shabazz, then aged 18, gave his version of the fire and the events leading up to it. He explained that he had been unhappy living in New York with his grandmother, and had started: “being bad, doing anything to get them to send me back to my mother. And nothing’s working. Then I got the idea to set the fire.” Expressing remorse for the event, Shabazz continued:
“I set a fire in the hallway, and I didn’t think the whole thing through thoroughly, but she didn’t have to run through that fire … There was another way out of the house from her room. I guess what she thought was I was stuck, and she had to run and get me because it was in front of my room as well. She ran through the fire. I did not picture that happening, that she would do that.”
In the same interview, Shabazz also dismissed the diagnosis of the child psychiatrist at his trial that he was a paranoid schizophrenic, saying that he had only “made up” a story about hearing voices in his childhood “to get attention.”
Shabazz was found guilty of manslaughter and arson and was sentenced to 18 months in Juvenile detention. His stay was extended and he was released four years later. Years later he told the Amsterdam News that he had not set the fire.
Malcolm Shabazz was in the process of writing two books, at least one of which was attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.