DALLAS (AP) — A 22-year-old Texas man who was beaten to death at a bar on a Greek island recently graduated from college and was known to his friends for his fun-loving and friendly demeanor.
Bakari Henderson, of Austin, was beaten to death early Friday at the bar in Lagana on the island of Zakynthos.
Authorities haven’t disclosed a possible motive for the attack, but eight people have been arrested. Greek police said among them were a 34-year-old Greek and a 32-year-old British man of Serbian origin. Serbia’s foreign ministry said six of its citizens were arrested.
Henderson’s aunt, Jan Richardson, told The Associated Press on Monday that her nephew had planned to travel to Spain after his time in Greece.
She said the family doesn’t have any “definitive answers or knowledge about what actually happened,” but that they are trying to keep their interactions with the authorities private. She said their focus is on getting her nephew’s body returned home, which they hope will happen this week.
Henderson graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arizona. His family said in a news release that he was in Greece working on a photo shoot to launch a clothing line.
“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,” Henderson’s college friend, Alyssa White, told KVUE television station in Austin.
John Gramlich, who had been friends with Henderson since first grade, told the AP that Henderson loved traveling and had a knack for making friends wherever he went. He said that on this trip, Henderson was traveling with friends from college and that other friends from around Europe were expected to meet up with him in Greece.
“He’s the kind of guy who literally makes friends anywhere he goes,” said Gramlich, who traveled with Henderson around Europe last summer.
“It’s not in his character at all to be aggressive or instigate anything,” Gramlich said. “He’s always the guy who is calming people down, really.”
He called his friend an “entrepreneur at heart” who was in the early stages of developing a clothing line and always dreamed of living abroad.
Friend Sam Hindsman told ABC News that Henderson was “such a fun loving person and he’s so easygoing.”
Henderson served as an intern in the office of Texas House Speaker Joe Straus in the summer of 2014. Straus said in a statement that Henderson was “well-liked, he worked hard, and he certainly had a very bright future ahead of him.”