"Malcolm is a guy who would give his life for you," claimed a speaker in February 1965 at a rally because that the company of Afro-American Unity. A pair hours later, his words would certainly prove sadly true.

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Getty ImagesMalcolm X through his daughters Qubilah (left) and Attilah two years before his assassination.

On Feb. 21, 1965, Malcolm X hosted a rally at the Audubon Ballroom in the Washington Heights neighborhood of new York City because that his newly created Organization of Afro-American unity (OAAU), a non-religious group that aimed to unite black Americans in your fight for person rights. His family"s house had actually been damaged in a firebomb attack only numerous days prior, yet that did not prevent Malcolm X from speak to the crowd of 400 people.

One that the rally"s speaker told supporters, "Malcolm is a guy who would provide his life because that you. There aren"t countless men who would lay under their lives for you."

Malcolm at some point rose come the podium come speak. "Salam aleikum," that said. There to be a commotion in the crowd — a bunch that drunks, part rally-goers assumed. And then Malcolm was shot, tumbling backward with blood on his face and chest.

Witnesses explained multiple gunshots native multiple men, among them "firing prefer he remained in some Western, running backward toward the door and firing in ~ the very same time."

According to a first-hand report by UPI correspondent Scott Stanley, the barrage of shots continued "in what seemed like an eternity."

"I heard a terrifying volley of gunshots and screams and saw Malcolm bowled end by the bullets. His wife, Betty, cried hysterically, "they"re killing my husband"," Stanley recalled. Betty, that was pregnant at the time with the couple"s twins, had thrown it s her onto the rest of her children to shield them native the gunfire.

Malcolm X to be shot at least 15 times.

Once the hysteria subsided and also Malcolm X"s human body was lugged away top top a stretcher, the crowd started to attack the suspects right before the two men were taken into police custody. Among them had actually his left leg damaged by Malcolm"s supporters.

One of the assassins to be Talmadge Hayer, better known as thomas Hagan, who was a member of holy place Number 7 in Harlem, a country of Islam holy place that Malcolm as soon as led. Police claimed that Hagan had actually a pistol with four unused bullets at the moment of his arrest.

The aftermath Of Malcolm X"s Assassination

In the days complying with the assassination that Malcolm X, police arrested two additional NOI members suspected of being related to killing: Norman 3X Butler and also Thomas 15X Johnson. All three males were convicted, despite Butler and Johnson constantly claimed innocence and Hayer testified that they weren"t involved.

In the 1970s, Hayer submitted two affidavits reasserting his case that Butler and Johnson had actually nothing to do with Malcolm X"s assassination, but the case was never ever reopened. Butler was paroled in 1985, Johnson to be released in 1987, and Hayer to be paroled in 2010.

Martin Luther King Jr. Sent Malcolm X"s wife, Betty Shabazz, a telegram ~ Malcolm X was killed.

The two influential African-American leaders had actually often been at odds with their vastly different approaches to eradicate the country"s structure racism. However they respected each other and also shared the same vision the a liberated black color society.

King"s letter read: "While us did not constantly see eye to eye on methods to fix the race problem, I always had a deep affection for Malcolm and felt that he had the great ability to put his finger top top the existence and root the the problem."

A windy viewing of his casket took place at the unified Funeral house in Harlem, wherein some 14,000 come 30,000 mourners paid your respects following Malcolm X"s assassination. A funeral company followed in ~ the faith Temple that God in Christ.

Theories surrounding Malcolm X"s Death

As through the assassination the other well known figures, Malcolm X"s death boasts its fair share that theories about what happened that go past the main story.

Malcolm"s own suspicions that he would be killed because of his ideas were fine documented. Throughout a expedition to the university of Oxford, that confided to British activist Tariq Ali that he would soon be dead.

"As I climbed to leave, ns hoped we would fulfill again. His response stunned me. That was unconvinced that us would due to the fact that "they"re going to kill me soon,"" Ali wrote around his encounter through the prominent speaker.

Ali included that after acquiring over his early shock, that asked Malcolm X that was going to death him and also the outspoken black color leader to be "in no doubt the it would certainly be either the country of Islam or the FBI or both."

Three months later, Malcolm X to be gunned down at the Audubon Ballroom.

In June 1964, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover had sent a various other eyewitness and also media reports suggest a 2nd man to be arrested the night of the assassination in enhancement to Talmadge Hayer. Some believe that man was undercover NYPD officer Raymond A. Wood.

In 2021, a confession letter that timber wrote in 2011 surfaced when his cousin delivered to the family of Malcolm X. In the letter, Wood claims he was part of an NYPD unit designed come sabotage civil rights leaders and that Malcolm X especially was one of their targets.

Wood further declared that he to be asked to set up two of Malcolm X"s bodyguards to be arrested just prior to the shooting: "It was my assignment to attract the two men right into a felonious federal crime so the they can be arrested by the FBI and also kept far from controlling Malcolm X"s door defense on February 21, 1965."

In the wake up of the letter"s emergence, Malcolm X"s family referred to as for his murder instance to be reopened. "Any proof that provides greater insight into the fact behind that disastrous tragedy must be thoroughly investigated," stated Malcolm X"s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz.

For decades, numerous have been calling for just that type of thorough investigation. After much more than a half-century, the pursuit for true justice for Malcolm X"s assassination continues on.

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