A friend of the 22-year-old American killed last week in Greece gives new details about the violent attack that occurred in a bar.
Bakari Henderson was killed after a fight broke out on the Greek island of Zakynthos on Friday morning. According to a friend who was with Henderson at the time, it started after Henderson and some friends placed their drinks at the other end of a table where two men were sitting. He says the two men grabbed the beers, smashed them on the table and brandished the broken bottles like weapons.
The friend says local media reports that the attack was sparked by an attempt to take a photo with a waitress are false.
Police say at least 10 people followed Henderson out of the bar, including the bouncer and another employee. They are accused of beating Henderson and leaving him unconscious in the street.
and now face charges of voluntary manslaughter. The suspects, including the bouncer and bar worker, covered their heads as they walked to court.
One of their lawyers argued there was no intention to kill Henderson, who Greek police said died from serious head injuries after the beating.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Astrid Von Ehren-McCray, a family friend. “And I’m trying to pull myself together, but I couldn’t believe it.”
The news continues to circulate around the McCray household in Austin, Texas. Family friends say Henderson spent a lot of time there growing up.
“I think everyone feels the same way,” Blake McCray said. “Everyone misses Bakari. He was the life of the party.”
Henderson graduated last month from the University of Arizona with a degree in business finance and entrepreneurship.
In a statement, relatives said: “Our family is devastated.” They said Henderson “was a big thinker and loved starting new businesses.”
His latest photo shoot for a new clothing line took him to the Greek island of Zakynthos.
Nightlife in an area of the island known as Laganas attracts a rowdier crowd, according to author and travel writer Eleni Gage.
“They get a lot of charter flights from England and other parts of Europe, which can provide a very cheap vacation, mainly for young people looking to party,” Gage said.
Problems have already been reported there. In 2011, an argument with taxi drivers led to the stabbing death of a British teenager. And last year, a young British woman said a spiked vodka drink left her blind.
Yet this latest case makes no sense to those who knew Bakari Henderson, like his neighbor Bill Norton.
“He was, he didn’t have any of those characteristics that you would think of in terms of bar fights,” Norton said. “You know, that just didn’t fit Bakari’s nature. So I’m just perplexed.”
The Henderson family says their main goal now is to bring Bakari’s body home. The US State Department says it is helping the family and is in contact with Greek authorities. Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has raised more than $30,000 to cover transportation and funeral costs.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated that witnesses allegedly told police that Henderson and his friends wanted to take a photo with a waitress, which angered the bouncer. A friend of Henderson says local media reports that the attack was sparked by an attempt to take a photo with a waitress are false.