While traveling on the island of Zakynthos in Greece, 22-year-old American and recent university graduate Bakari Henderson died from numerous head injuries after an altercation outside a bar in the tourist town of Laganas.
The investigation is ongoing, but authorities say that an argument over a selfie was likely the initial event that lead to the young man's death.
According to CBS News, witnesses told police that Henderson and his friends wanted to take a selfie with one of the waitresses at a local bar. This supposedly angered the bouncer, who was then able to rally allies. Police say that at least 10 people followed the American and his friends out of the bar, among them the bouncer and another staff member. Another six were identified as Serbian nationals staying at a nearby hotel.
Henderson was brutally beaten and eventually died from the injuries.
Henderson, a budding entrepreneur, had recently graduated from the University of Arizona with a major in business finance. He had traveled to Greece for a photo shoot for a clothing line he was in the process of developing, explained his family in a statement. Zakynthos was to be his foray into his own career and the potential start of some big dreams, not a crushing end.
Eight people have been arrested in connection with the attack and charged with voluntary manslaughter, as at least one of the accused's lawyers has stated that the intent was never to kill Henderson. According to them, his death was a tragic and unfortunate accident.
While murder may have not been the intent, surveillance videos from nearby shops show that the perpetrators continued to beat Henderson even after he was unconscious. The senseless intent to cause severe damage seemed to be driving the violence, even after the victim was clearly incapacitated.
“Bakari was not one to act aggressively like that," his friend, Travis Jenkins, told ABC News. "He was always the one who was the peacemaker."
"He was, he didn't have any of those characteristics that you would think about in terms of bar-room brawls," Bill Norton, a neighbor of Henderson's family back in America, said to CBS News. "You know, it just didn't fit Bakari's nature. So I'm just puzzled."
The young man's friends have started a GoFundMe page in order to help bring his body back to the United States and for funeral expenses. So far they have raised over $30,000 with an end goal of $50,000. In the meantime, the U.S. State Department is helping the grieving family work with Greek authorities as the investigation continues. Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona announced on Twitter that he is in the process of making sure Henderson's friends get home safely.
This case will continue to develop, but at the end of the day, the results are the same. A young man who had the world ahead of him was killed in a meaningless brawl, a terrible ending that makes the rest of us shudder and hold our own lives a little closer to heart.