American college graduate beaten to death in Greece; 8 arrested, police say

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ABC News

AUSTIN, Texas – A 22-year-old man from Austin died early Friday after being beaten by a crowd while visiting the Greek island of Zakynthos, according to his family.

Bakari Jaward Henderson was in Greece working on a photo shoot to launch his new fashion line when he was beaten to death by as many as 10 people, his family said in a statement.

“Bakari loved spending time with family and friends, traveling and meeting new people,” the statement said. “He was a big thinker and enjoyed coming up with new business ventures.”

Police told ABC News 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 told ABC News 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."

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