The grandson of murdered civil rights leader Malcolm X, Malcolm Shabazz, who was convicted as a child of manslaughter and arson in the death of his grandmother, has died outside the United States, family friend Terrie Williams said.
"I'm confirming, per U.S. Embassy, on behalf of the family, the tragic death of Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X. Statement from family to come," Williams posted late Thursday on her Facebook page.
Media reports said Shabazz, in his late 20's, died in Mexico, but the circumstances were not confirmed.
The U.S. State Department's consular affairs section in Washington said only that it was aware a U.S. citizen had died in Mexico City, but gave no further details.
"We have been in contact with family members, and at their request we have no further comment at this time," it said in an email to Reuters.
Police in Mexico City said they were aware of the media reports but had no evidence of Shabazz's death. The police said they would be notified only of suspicious deaths of a foreign citizen.
Nation of Islam leader Malcolm X - born Malcolm Little, and also known by his Muslim name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz - was murdered in 1965. To his critics, Malcolm X was a Muslim firebrand who stirred anti-U.S. sentiment.
At age 12 his grandson, Malcolm Shabazz, was involved in a fire that resulted in the death of his grandmother Betty Shabazz. He was convicted of manslaughter and arson, and went to juvenile detention.