Rodriguez was walking the waiter to the restaurant's rear door at 11:43 p.m., police said, when four masked men armed with revolvers or semi-automatic handguns pushed the workers to the ground.
After robbing the victims of wallets, jewelry and cellphones, one of the robbers had words with Rodriguez before firing at him, Boonenberg said.
The unidentified waiter was pistol whipped but was treated and released.
Our condolences go out to the family of Rafael Rodriguez and to the staff at Josephine's.
Anyone with information should contact the Boca Raton police at 561-368-6201 or Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-8477.
Below, Rodriguez is interviewed about Josephine's Italian Restaurant in an episode of Check Please! South Florida. On their Facebook page the staff of Check Please! writes, "We are so saddened over this senseless loss! ... He was interviewed on the show, helped us with last year's Bus Tour, and was always so kind and gracious. Our sympathies to Josephine and her staff!"
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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.