Alex Hammer, Daily Mail, February 22, 2022
A Wisconsin restaurant worker is recovering after being shot in the face when a pair of customers grew angry over a $3 hamburger missing from their order.
Anthony Rodriguez, 26, a dad-of-one, miraculously survived the January 30 shooting, which left his spine fractured and a portion of the bullet still lodged in his throat.
‘I do remember just laying on the ground and just bleeding out,’ Rodriguez, wearing a neck brace to support his fractured spine, told local outlet WISN-TV last week of the brazen late-night attack at a Wauwatosa George Webb location, where he worked as a server.
‘I was in so much shock. I don’t really remember being in much pain, but I remember kind of internally freaking out and being very scared and just telling myself, “Wow, I’m probably gonna die here.”‘
Rodriguez was the only server working at the popular Wisconsin chain restaurant the night of the attack, which took place shortly after 12 a.m.
Twin sisters Bryanna and Breanta Johnson, both 20, were allegedly ‘impatient and rude’ while waiting for their order and then became angry when a hamburger was missing, prompting one of them to walk outside and return with a pistol. The two proceeded to attack Rodriguez and one of them shot him in the face while he was down, police said.
The twin sisters were subsequently tracked down and arrested by Wisconsin police, and are facing attempted homicide charges for the brazen attack. The are being held in jail on $100,000 bail, according to police records.
If convicted, both of the sisters could face up to 65 years in prison, police say, as both took part in the attack.
A criminal complaint filed by the Wauwatosa Police Department chronicling the incident details how the Johnson sisters, along with two other women, were ordering food from Rodriguez at the eatery when employees said the group started becoming ‘impatient and rude’ while waiting for a food order.
The women then began arguing with Rodriguez and another unnamed staffer, unhappy that they were not getting their food quick enough, the complaint states.
When they became even more irate over a $3 hamburger that they said was missing from their order, Rodriguez and the other employee then asked the group to leave.
At that point, one of the twins walked outside the establishment and returned with a pistol, the complaint continues.
Surveillance footage and interviews with witnesses and the suspects confirm that one of the sisters, Breanta, proceeded to punch Rodriguez in the face and wrestle him to the ground, detectives wrote.
The security footage then showed Breanta pass the handgun to her sister, who was still beating Rodriguez, police said. The woman, Bryanna, then attempted to pistol whip Rodriguez as he laid on the ground.
She then allegedly aimed and shot an already downed Rodriguez in the face, the complaint states.
When police arrived on the scene, they found Rodriguez in critical condition with ‘a gunshot wound to the right side of his face,’ per the complaint.
‘The bullet went through my upper lip and took out my upper teeth and cracked my bottom teeth, so those will have to be replaced,’ Rodriguez said two weeks after the attack, donning a neck brace to stabilize a part of his spine fractured by the bullet.
‘There’s still big fragments in my throat from the bullet,’ said the George Webb staffer, who has not yet returned to work and has had friends start a GoFundMe to help cover hospital costs and help the single dad with his three-year-old son.
‘I never expected to get shot being a server,’ Rodriguez said.
‘It’s amazing I’m able to walk. It’s amazing I’m able to speak.’
When interviewed by detectives, both sisters confirmed the contents of the complaint as accurate – though Breanta, the one who retrieved the gun and handed it off to her sister, said she had ‘blacked out’ during the fight and did not remember passing the gun to sister Bryanna, who allegedly pulled the trigger.
Speaking to WISN-TV last week, Rodriguez recalled how, while bleeding out on the eatery’s floor, he had thought he would never see his son again.
‘Just disappointment that it had to come to this and disappointment that I was almost taken away from my family,’ Rodriguez said when asked by interviewer Hillary Mintz what was going through his mind after the attack.
Of his attackers, he says, ‘I hope they get the judgment that they deserve because it was brutal what they did.’
Rodriguez will have a ‘long and arduous recovery,’ according to his GoFundMe, which is currently just $170 away from its $50,000 goal.