By Monday morning, Bakari Henderson’s friends were more than halfway to raising $50,000 to help return his body to the United States and arrange a funeral. They’ve raised more than $33,000 since launching the campaign two days ago.
On their GoFundMe page, his friends lament that the 22-year-old recent University of Arizona graduate, who was beaten to death Friday in Greece, died before he had the chance to fulfill his potential.
ABC News said the Greek police, in an ongoing investigation, arrested eight people connected to a brawl outside a bar on the island of Zakynthos that ended Henderson’s life. They appeared in Court on Saturday and pleaded not guilty.
KXAN-TV said Henderson was in Greece doing a photo shoot to launch a new clothing line. His family released this statement:
“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 Washington Post, based on information from a Greek state news agency, reported that an altercation began when another bar customer approached Henderson. The confrontation led to a fistfight outside, in which surveillance video showed the suspects continuing to beat Henderson while he appeared unconscious. He died later at a hospital.
The island’s mayor, Pavlos Kolokotsas, told ABC News that heavy drinking was involved on both sides. Two of the suspects worked at the bar—one a British citizen born in Serbia and the other a Greek national—were arrest on Friday. The six other suspects are Serbian tourists identified from surveillance video.
Henderson suffered severe head injuries, the coroner told ABC News. All the blows were to the head, and there were no defensive body wounds.
Friends and family of the victim doubt that he caused the fight. “Bakari was not one to act aggressively like that. He was always the one who was the peacemaker,” Henderson’s friend, Travis Jenkins told ABC News.
The GoFundMe page describes Henderson as a person who “brought a light of joy to everyone who encountered him.”