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Bartender killed during armed robbery

Boca Raton, FL – On Friday, January 4, 2013 at 11:43 p.m., Boca Raton Police officers responded to a report of a male screaming, possible gun shots and a disturbance behind Josephine’s Restaurant, 5751 North Federal Highway.

When officers arrived on the scene, they found one male shot. After speaking with witnesses and reviewing surveillance video, Boca Raton detectives were able to piece together the crime. Josephine’s Restaurant closed at about 10:00 p.m., however, the owner, several employees, and patrons remained. At approximately 11:43 p.m., a waiter was leaving and the bartender, Rafael Rodriguez, walked with him to the back door. As the waiter exited the back door, several suspects accosted them. The waiter and Rodriguez were knocked to the ground and the waiter was pistol whipped. One or two suspects stood guard while other suspects entered the restaurant. The suspects are black males; all were wearing some kind of mask or facial covering. The suspects were armed with either revolvers or semi-automatic handguns.

Once inside the restaurant, the suspects approached the rest of the victims, who were around the bar area. The suspects then took personal items, including wallets, jewelry, and cell phones from the victims. As the suspects were leaving, Rodriguez exchanged words with one of the suspects. At this point, the suspect shot at Rodriguez, striking him once.

The suspects fled out of the back door and were last seen running south behind the buildings. Rodriguez and the waiter were transported to Delray Medical Center, where Rodriguez later died. The waiter was released this morning.

Boca Raton detectives are following leads throughout the South Florida area. If anyone has information about this crime, they are asked to call the Boca Raton Police Department at (561) 368-6201 or Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS.


Rafael Rodriguez
DOB 06/25/1966
Boca Raton, FL


#1 Black male, tall, thin      #2 Black male, thin
Long sleeved shirt, pants     Below knee shorts
Baseball cap, backpack       Backpack, handgun
Black revolver, mask          Hood and mask

#3 Black male                   #4 Black male

Medium build, pants          Long sleeve dark shirt

Short sleeve shirt               Below knee shorts

Bandana, ball cap              Light shirt or scarf
Hand gun                           Covering face