An argument over a selife may have led to the brutal fatal beating of an American college graduate on a Green party island, local police say.
Bakari Henderson, 22, was in Zakynthos for a photoshoot to launch his own fashion line when he and his friends visited a local bar, Bar Code, in the town of Laganas, late on Thursday night.
But trouble arose when he and his friends wanted to take a selfie with one of the waitresses, according to witnesses. One of the venue’s bouncers took issue with the request and a fight broke out in the early hours of Friday.
Relaxing: Bakari Henderson posted this picture of himself wearing a Lakers t-shirt while spending time with a friend – it has emerged that the student was in Greece with an eye on opening a fashion business while there
According to reports in the Greek media, police have reviewed CCTV footage from the scene which shows the security guard approaching the table where Henderson and his friends were sitting and begin shouting at them.
Henderson punched the security guard and a fight broke out between them.
The bartender joined in and within seconds a mob formed around Henderson, chasing him out of that bar. Local cops say at least 10 people followed Henderson out of the bar, including the bouncer and another employee.
Moments later, he was pummeled to death by attackers who are thought to have used brass knuckles.
Eight people have been since been arrested – including the bouncer, a 32-year-old British security guard of Serbian origin, and a Greek barman, 34 – and are facing voluntary manslaughter charges. Six Serbians were arrested after a police operation at the hotel where they were staying.
Homicide: Two men have been arrested and eight more are being questioned after the death of University of Arizona student Bakari Henderson on the Greek island of Zakynthos
One of their attorneys argued the charge was wrong as there was no intent to kill Henderson.
But the Greek Security Division said that Henderson’s injuries were so severe, that he was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.
His body was taken to the Patras coroner for further examination, but the most likely cause of death is the blows to the head.
The authorities in Greece are now calling for a clampdown on party islands like Zakynthos, which are known for their cheap bars with rowdy tourists drinking until the early hours.
The news is still sinking in at the McCray household in Austin, Texas. Family friends say Henderson spent a lot of time there growing up.
Henderson’s family and friends said he was ‘so determined in life’ and that it was ‘always a beautiful day’ when was around.
In a statement Henderson’s family said: ‘Bakari loved spending time with family and friends, traveling and meeting new people.
Resort: Zakynthos is popular with tourists who are drawn by its stunning beaches and wild nightlife, which centers around the main drag of Lagana Beach attraction: The beach on the island is one of its draws for tourists but there is a dark side and in 2011 a 19-year-old British tourist was beaten to death by two Greek taxi drivers.
‘He was a big thinker and enjoyed coming up with new business ventures’.
Another friend, Jordan Zylberberg, said: ‘Bakari was an amazing friend, one of my best and oldest friends, and one of the most genuine people I ever met’.
‘I coudn’t believe it,’ added Astrid Von Ehren-McCray, a family friend. ‘ And I’m trying to compose myself, but I couldnt’ believe it.’
Among those who paid tribute to Henderson was his friend Alyssa White who said: ‘He was the guy who walked around campus and knew everyone.
‘He was so determined in life, I mean he had dreams of starting a clothing line and opening his own business and he inspired me to work harder.
Tyler Pittman, another of Henderson’s friends, said: ‘I guess I’ll never meet someone as inspirational and influential as that man.
‘He was always positive, always happy, always smiling, laughing, joking…it was always a beautiful day’.
Henderson was from Austin, Texas, and had been studying at the University of Arizona in Tucson where he was taking Business Finance and Entrepreneurship.
He graduated in May.
On his Facebook page Henderson said he was a fan of Kobe Bryant and posted a picture of himself in a Los Angeles Lakers shirt and
He posted another photo with some friends where he wrote: ‘Great weekend (with) the homies’.
In a statement University of Arizona president Robert C. Robbins said: ‘Our hearts and prayers are with his friends and family.
‘I can only imagine the deep sense of loss they must be feeling at his untimely death. It is always a tragedy when a young life ends before it has really yet to begin’.
Before that Henderson attended Anderson High School in Austin and graduated in 2013.
According to his profile on sports website MaxPreps he played 34 games, averaging 2.7 points per game. He was listed as 6ft 2in at the time.
A US State Department official said that an American citizen had been killed on Zakynthos and that it was providing consular services to his family.
The incident is not the first killing of foreigner on Zakynthos and in 2011 a 19-year-old British tourist was beaten to death by two Greek taxi drivers.