PEMBROKE PINES (CBS4) – Police are looking for the person who stabbed and killed a man in the T.G.I. Friday’s parking lot in Pembroke Pines early Thursday.
Pembroke Pines Police said they reported to several calls of a male T.G.I. Friday’s employee who was stabbed several times during an alleged robbery attempt at the restaurant’s parking lot. When they arrived at 90 N. University Drive at approximately 1:30 a.m. Thursday, they found Antoine Gracius, the restaurant’s cook, in the parking lot with stab wounds.READ MORE: Condo Collapse: Despite Broken Pelvis After 4-Story Fall, Mom Pulls Daughter Out Of Rubble
Police said Gracius was leaving work when he was stabbed.
Gracius, 53, was transported to Memorial Regional Hospital by Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue where he died as a result of his injuries, police said.
T.G.I. Friday’s spokesperson Steve Coe said they are saddened by the passing of their employee.
“We are heartbroken at the senseless death of a long-time and valued member of the Friday’s family in our Pembroke Pines store,” Coe said. “We are offering counseling to team members. We are cooperating fully with police. “
Surveillance video obtained from the parking lot shows a dark colored, possibly dark blue or black, mini-van passing by the front doors of T.G.I. Friday’s just prior to the incident. Police said the assailant was attempting to rob Gracius.READ MORE: Condo Collapse: FIU Professor Found Surfside Building Had Been Sinking For Decades
The van was being driven by a light skinned male and has passenger side sliding door damage, police said.
His family said Gracius moved to the United States from Haiti nine years ago and sent money to his wife and seven children back in Haiti.
His cousin Claudette Gabriel said she had to break the devastating news over the phone.
“When I called I spoke to his daughter and said she would never see her father again,” Gabriel said. “It hurt me to tell her.”
Another cousin Andre Filsiam described Gracius as a father figure. If ever I had a problem “he always found a way to make me laugh.”MORE NEWS: Condo Collapse: Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava Signs Emergency Order
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Heim at 954-431-2200 or send an email to Tips@ppines.com. You may also call Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.