Controversial Former Nation of Islam Aide Shot
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) _ A black gunman tried to assassinate controversial former Nation of Islam spokesman Khallid Abdul Muhammad on Sunday, hitting Muhammad and at least two other people.
The gunman was beaten unconscious by the crowd, who shouted, ″He works for the Jews.″
An Associated Press photographer said Muhammad was hit in the foot. A police representative told The Press-Enterprise that Muhammad was shot in the left leg and that his injuries were not serious.
He was taken in his own car by aides to Riverside Community Hospital.
University spokesman Jack Chappell said three people were injured, including Muhammad and two people believed to be with his entourage. He said none was critically injured.
Witnesses told Greg Weissman of KTTV Fox 11, who was at the scene, that the gunman’s target was Muhammad ″and he was aiming and firing at him and hitting whoever might be in the way.″
The shooting occurred in the parking lot outside an auditorium at the University of California, Riverside, where Muhammad had given a speech.
A crowd jumped on the black gunman, beating him before police dragged him away.
″I saw the police force their way into the crowd and break the man free,″ said Lewis VanDenberg of KUCR-FM.
Police then held off the crowd with drawn guns before driving the gunman to a hospital, witnesses told the newspaper.
Two people received minor injuries in the scuffle, Chappell said.
Muhammad’s son, 9-year-old Farrakhan Khallid Muhammad, was carried away by aides as he screamed, ″Daddy 3/8 Daddy 3/8 Daddy 3/8″ The boy, who frequently appears on stage with Muhammad, did not appear to be injured.
Muhammad, 43, was suspended from his duties as senior aide to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan after a speech in November in which he called Jews ″the bloodsuckers″ of the black community and said the pope was a ″no- good cracker.″ He also urged blacks to kill all whites in South Africa, including women, children and the disabled.
That speech was denounced by President Clinton and other black and Jewish leaders.
Farrakhan demoted Muhammad, but defended what he called the ″truths″ in Muhammad’s speech.
Calls to the Nation of Islam office in Chicago were answered by a security guard who said he hadn’t heard about the shooting.
Muhammad spoke Saturday night to a crowd of about 1,000 at the Vision Complex theater in the South-Central area of Los Angeles.
He offered no apology for his past remarks, warning the few whites in the audience that his speech would be ″a rough ride.″
″I don’t come to be easy on white people ... everywhere I go I want them to be uncomfortable,″ he said.