An American tourist was beaten to death on Friday after a fight erupted at a bar on Greek island of Zakynthos, and at least eight people have been arrested in connection with his killing, according to local police.
Bakari Henderson, a 22-year-old recent graduate of the University of Arizona, was at a bar on the Greek island of Zakynthos when a fight broke out with another group of people on Friday around 3 a.m. local time, according to police there.
The fight escalated into a brawl and Henderson was battered to death in the street, police said. Further details on the clash were not immediately clear, but police said it involved two groups of people.
Pavlos Kolokotsas, the mayor of Zakynthos, said that both groups involved had been drinking extensively.
The investigation into the incident and Henderson’s death is ongoing.
Police said that a British citizen of Serbian origin, who is temporarily employed in Greece as a bouncer, and a Greek national, who works at the bar in Zakynthos, were arrested Friday and named suspects in the beating death.
Six Serbian tourists were also arrested after being identified on surveillance footage as having taken part in the brawl, police said.
The eight arrested so far are expected to appear in court Saturday.
The University of Arizona issued a statement Friday on the news of Henderson's "untimely death."
"All of us at the University of Arizona are shocked and saddened by the loss of our recent graduate, Bakari Henderson," the university's president, Robert Robbins, said in the statement. "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."
An official within the U.S. State Department said that Zakynthos police had notified the U.S. embassy of the death of an American citizen there early Friday.
We are in communication with authorities and providing consular assistance to the deceased citizen’s family,the official said in a statement Saturday. We offer our sincerest condolences to family and friends, and out of respect for the family during this difficult time, we have no further comment.
Henderson's family said that a memorial service is being planned.
And below, is the Henderson family's statement:
As you can imagine, our family is devastated by the recent loss of our beloved son Bakari Jaward Henderson. He attended Anderson High School through his junior year and graduated from Hyde Park Baptist High School in 2013. Bakari attended The Eller College of Management at The University of Arizona on a full academic scholarship and graduated on May 12, 2017 with a BS in Business Finance and Entrepreneurship.
The summer after his freshman year at University of Arizona, he interned with the Texas Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Texas State Senate. Bakari was in Greece working on a photo shoot to launch his new clothing line when the unbelievable tragedy occurred.
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.
We would like to thank our family, friends and the Austin community for your prayers, love and support.