A University of Arizona graduate traveled to Greece with his Phi Gamma Delta fraternity brothers to do a photo shoot launch for a new clothing line. It ended in tragedy this week. Bakari Henderson, 22, was at a bar with his friends when a man walked towards him and a fight broke out. A brawl ensued in the street outside the bar. Ten men surrounded Bakari, at least six of them were Serbian. The others were Greeks. They beat him to death. The reason why is still unknown and these thugs are all pleading not-guilty. So far, eight are going to jail. Henderson was rushed to the hospital but died from severe head trauma.
This happened on the Greek island of Zakynthos last Friday at about 3 am. The fight escalated when the bar’s security asked the man who picked the fight to leave. Police are still searching for the other two men of the involved. Zakynthos, an island off the west coast of mainland Greece, is popular among tourists for its cliffside beaches and sea caves. “Greek police in Zakynthos notified the US Embassy of the death of a US citizen in the early morning hours of Friday,” the US State Department released in a statement.
Henderson had just graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in business finance and entrepreneurship. “Bakari loved spending time with family and friends, traveling, and meeting new people. He was a big thinker and enjoyed coming up with new business ventures. Bakari was an inspiration to all he met. He loved life and lived it to the fullest,” the Henderson family said in a statement released to the press.
The President of the University of Arizona, Robert C. Robbins, expressed his condolences in a statement: “All of us at the University of Arizona are shocked and saddened by the loss of our recent graduate, Bakari Henderson. Our hearts and prayers are with his friends and family,” Robbins said. “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 yet to begin.”
They say that the men that attacked Henderson had all been drinking heavily. I don’t know if this had anything to do with race, but Henderson was black. His friends said that Henderson was a “peacemaker” and that he was not aggressive. I imagine that it took quite a bit to bait him into fighting and it cost him his life. He was not the fighting type.
Questions loom about the investigation by police
Pavlos Kolokotsas, the mayor of Zakynthos, told ABC News that both groups involved had been drinking extensively. So, the Greeks are laying blame on both sides. I doubt a fair investigation will take place. The investigation into the altercation and Henderson’s death is ongoing. Results are expected early this week on the autopsy. They already know he died due to a severe beating. The question is why?
Police told ABC News that a British citizen of Serbian origin, who is a bouncer, and a Greek national, who is a bartender in Zakynthos, were arrested Friday and named suspects in the beating death. Six Serbian tourists are facing jail after being identified on surveillance footage as having taken part in the brawl, police said.
By all accounts, Henderson was a peaceful and fun-loving guy. He should not have died this way. To bury him his friends have set up a GoFundMe account to pay to have his body shipped home. The page, which began on Saturday, has already raised close to $20,000. Henderson hails from Austin, Texas and his family is now making funeral arrangements that they never saw coming. RIP Bakari… I hope they hold all those responsible for your death accountable.