Victim in restaurant robbery remembered

Rafael Rodriguez shot, killed during robbery at Josephine's of Boca

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:25:36 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 08 2013 08:33:25 AM EST
BOCA RATON, Fla. -

Friends remembered the bartender shot and killed during a robbery at Josephine's of Boca.

"He was a very fine man. He was very well respected and loved by the community," Carter McDonald, a friend of Rafael Rodriguez, said Monday. "I just can't believe it. One of the nicest guys that I ever met in South Florida is gone in such a tragic fashion and it's truly senseless."

Four armed men ambushed Rodriguez and a waiter as they exited the back door of the restaurant late Friday, say police. The robbers then stormed the restaurant and took any valuables they could.

Rodriguez, who dated the owner of the restaurant, confronted one of robbers as they left.

"The bartender engaged them in some way inside the restaurant and he got shot and killed," said Boca Raton Police Det. Sandra Boonenberg.

Rodriguez had a concealed weapons permit, but it's unclear if he was armed the night of the robbery.

The waiter, who was pistol-whipped during the robbery, has been released from the hospital.