BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A city council member from Mobile, Alabama, was hospitalized in stable condition Monday after he was shot in the face while traveling in Johannesburg, South Africa, a family representative said.
Councilman C.J. Small Jr. was shot on Saturday when someone ambushed a tour bus on which he was riding while visiting the country, a statement from his family said. The statement said Small and others aboard the bus were robbed of cellphones and other belongings.
Tiffany Williams, who described herself as a friend of Small's family, said Small was expected to recover from the injury.
"They have not changed his status in the hospital," she said in a telephone interview. "He is still listed as stable."
It was unclear when Small would be able to return to the United States, Williams said.
Small, who has served on the council since 2012, owns a mortuary and traveled to South Africa for a mortician's convention. His family said it was working with the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg and the secretary of state in Washington.
Embassy spokeswoman Cynthia R. Harvey, in a statement emailed to The Associated Press, said U.S. officials in Pretoria were aware of reports that a U.S. citizen was the victim of a carjacking on Saturday in Johannesburg. She declined further comment, citing privacy considerations.
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson sent a message on social media Sunday saying he learned that Small had been injured.
"Based upon what we know about his condition, I encourage everyone to pray for his full and complete recovery," Stimpson said in a tweet.
Associated Press Writer Christopher Torchia in Johannesburg contributed to this report.