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Grandson of Malcolm X dies in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) – A friend says the grandson of political activist Malcolm X died after he was beaten up during a dispute over a bill at a Mexico City bar.

Labor activist Miguel Suarez tells The Associated Press that Malcolm Shabazz died of his injuries at a hospital.

Suarez says the 28-year-old Shabazz had gone with him and several other people to a bar near the plaza that is home to Mexico City’s mariachis.

He said Friday the owner demanded they pay a $1,200 and a fight ensured. Suarez says he later found Shabazz injured outside the bar and took him to a hospital where he died on Thursday.

U.S. officials earlier confirmed Shabazz’s death.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of political activist Malcolm X, died while traveling in Mexico, according to U.S. officials. He was 28.

Two U.S. officials said Shabazz was killed Thursday morning in Mexico City. They did not provide additional details. They spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

Shabazz family publicist Terrie Williams confirmed the death to The Associated Press and said the family would issue a statement later.

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 his grandmother Betty Shabazz’s home. She died from severe burns, and he served four 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.”

Shabazz also served time on a 2002 attempted robbery conviction, and was released in 2005. In 2006, he pleaded guilty to criminal mischief for smashing the window of a Yonkers doughnut shop.

In recent years, Shabazz said he was writing a memoir and traveling the country to speak out against youth violence. On his Facebook profile, he said he was attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

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.”

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