Muhiyidin d'Baha

Muhiyidin d'Baha, or Muhiyidin Elamin Moye, via Go Fund Me

A well-known Black Lives Matter activist was fatally shot in Mid-City early Tuesday, according to New Orleans police.

Muhiyidin Elamin Moye, who preferred to be called Muhiyidin d'Baha, was found about 1:25 a.m. in the 2200 block of Bienville Street after he had been shot in the thigh while riding a bicycle, New Orleans Police Department spokesman Beau Tidwell said late Tuesday.

Moye was taken to a hospital but died there later in the morning. Tidwell didn't elaborate, but gunshot wounds to the thigh can be deadly if they rupture the femoral artery. 

Tidwell said no information about a possible motive or suspect was immediately available. 

Relatives of Moye, 32, first reported his death to media from his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. Social media users lamented the news as it spread online.

The post of one person described as a dear friend said it appeared Moye, also nicknamed "Moya," died of "a random act of violence."

"He had so much life and energy and intellectual curiosity and capacity and love," the post said. "The last thing he said to me was that he was doing community work out of town and that he was learning so that he would come back to Charleston and help empower the people."

The post continued, "He was loved by all of his friends and respected by all those who want to see social and racial justice in Charleston."

Moye gained fame when he was arrested last year after he leaped over police caution tape and tried to take a large Confederate battle flag from a protester waving it in downtown Charleston. Video captured the arrest, which prompted activists to raise $2,000 for Moye's bail, according to news accounts.

He also drew notice when he attended a local government meeting in the Charleston area to call for a community police watchdog board with subpoena power but was removed by officers. 

A white supremacist killed nine people at a black church in the Charleston area in 2015, motivating New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to successfully push for the removal of four Confederate monuments in his city.

A person identifying herself as Moye's niece, Camille Weaver, set up a GoFundMe account to raise money to return her uncle's body to Charleston and hold a memorial service. The account set a goal of $7,500 but already had raised nearly $10,900 within a few hours. 

"Our family is beyond appreciative for the outpouring of love and support we’ve received today," read a message from Weaver's account. "Moya was a light and he will shine forever." 

Weaver told Charleston's Post and Courier newspaper that Moye was in New Orleans on a personal trip when he was slain. 

He was among at least five people shot Monday night or Tuesday in New Orleans; three of them died.

Heading into Tuesday, the bloodshed brought the number of homicides in New Orleans this year to at least 25. Local crime analyst Jeff Asher said that was one more than during the first 37 days of 2017. 

A 26th homicide was reported Wednesday, after a man shot a few days earlier died. 

The national Black Lives Matter movement that Moye helped lead began in about 2013 to protest the fatal shootings of black people, primarily by police. 

WWL-TV contributed to this report. 

Follow Ramon Antonio Vargas on Twitter, @RVargasAdvocate.

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