Cops investigate whether race was reason American college student beaten to death on a Greek island

College Student, btb

By DANIEL BATES FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

The American college graduate allegedly beaten to death by a gang of 10 people in Greece was an aspiring entrepreneur who was visiting the country to launch his own fashion line.

Bakari Henderson, 22, had been doing a photoshoot on the island of Zakynthos when he was pummeled to death by attackers who are thought to have used brass knuckles.

Henderson’s family and friends said he was ‘so determined in life’ and that it was ‘always a beautiful day’ when was around.

Homicide: Two men have been arrested and eight more are being questioned after the death of University of Arizona student Bakari Henderson on the Greek island of Zakynthos   Homicide: Two men have been arrested and eight more are being questioned after the death of University of Arizona student Bakari Henderson on the Greek island of Zakynthos

Two people have been charged with homicide and up to eight others have been arrested over the horrific incident in the town of Laganas.

Police are investigating whether race played any part in the attack on Henderson, who is black.

The authorities in Greece are now calling for a clampdown on party islands like Zakynthos, which are known for their cheap bars with rowdy tourists drinking until the early hours.

Among those who paid tribute to Henderson was his friend Alyssa White who said: ‘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.

Tyler Pittman, another of Henderson’s friends, said: ‘I guess I’ll never meet someone as inspirational and influential as that man.

‘He was always positive, always happy, always smiling, laughing, joking…it was always a beautiful day’.

Resort: Zakynthos is popular with tourists who are drawn by its stunning beaches and wild nightlife, which centers around the main drag of Lagana

Henderson was from Austin, Texas, and had been studying at the University of Arizona in Tucson where he was taking Business Finance and Entrepreneurship.

He graduated in May.

In a statement Henderson’s family said: ‘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’.

Another friend, Jordan Zylberberg, said: ‘Bakari was an amazing friend, one of my best and oldest friends, and one of the most genuine people I ever met’.

The two who have been charged are a 32-year-old British security guard of Serbian origin, and a Greek barman, 34.

According to the Greek Security Division the incident began at 3.15am on Friday morning when Henderson had a minor altercation with the security guard at a bar called Bar Code.

According to reports in the Greek media, police have reviewed CCTV footage from the scene which shows the security guard approaching the table where Henderson and his friends were sitting and begin shouting at them.

Henderson punched the security guard and a fight broke out between them.

Beach attraction: The beach on the island is one of its draws for tourists but there is a dark side and in 2011 a 19-year-old British tourist was beaten to death by two Greek taxi drivers.

The bartender joined in and within seconds a mob formed around Henderson, chasing him out of that bar where they allegedly beat him to death.

The Greek Security Division said that Henderson was taken to hospital but he was dead on arrival due to his severe head injuries.

His body was taken to the Patras coroner for further examination, but the most likely cause of death is the blows to the head.

Six more Serbians have been arrested after a police operation at the hotel where they were staying. Two more people have reportedly been arrested.

On his Facebook page Henderson said he was a fan of Kobe Bryant and posted a picture of himself in a Los Angeles Lakers shirt and

He posted another photo with some friends where he wrote: ‘Great weekend (with) the homies’.

In a statement University of Arizona president Robert C. Robbins said: ‘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’.

Before that Henderson attended Anderson High School in Austin and graduated in 2013.

According to his profile on sports website MaxPreps he played 34 games, averaging 2.7 points per game. He was listed as 6ft 2in at the time.

A US State Department official said that an American citizen had been killed on Zakynthos and that it was providing consular services to his family.

The incident is not the first killing of foreigner on Zakynthos and in 2011 a 19-year-old British tourist was beaten to death by two Greek taxi drivers.

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