The owner of New York’s Spumoni Gardens pizza restaurant was gunned down in front of his home on Thursday in what police are calling a likely mob hit.
Louis Barbati, 61, an owner of L&B Spumoni Gardens in Bensonhurst was murdered on Thursday evening as he walked out of his house. Police described the killer as a man in a hoodie who appeared to be in his 30s.
According to Fox News, “Barbati’s Italian immigrant grandfather founded L&B in 1939. The pizzeria is best known for its Sicilian pizza and ices and regularly appears on ‘best of New York’ lists.”
— Teresa Priolo (@Fox5Teresa) July 1, 2016
“I’m shocked,” a neighbor who identified himself only as Peter told the New York Post. “Lou was a good guy. His family is broken up. Everyone knew him here. He was well-liked.”
One witness to the aftermath of the shooting told the New York Times she heard Barbati’s wife screaming, “He got shot! He got shot!”
Barbati was also at the center of a 2009 case over a stolen pizza sauce recipe that featured a Mafia extortion plot.
At the time, Colombo crime family associate Francis Guerra was accused of attempting to extort the owner of another Staten Island restaurant for supposedly stealing L&B’s sauce recipe.
The extortion case against Guerra was eventually dismissed, and he was also acquitted in yet another case — the double murder of Staten Island club owner Michael Devine and former underboss Joseph Scapo. However, Guerra didn’t escape justice long. He is now in prison for dealing oxycontin.
Police have yet to determine a motive for the shooting but said it seemed like an “assassination.”
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