Owner of Famed Brooklyn Pizzeria Whose Sauce Recipe Was Once Allegedly Stolen By Mafia Is Fatally Shot
Louis Barbati, the co-owner of famed Brooklyn pizzeria L&B Spumoni Gardens, was fatally shot outside his Brooklyn home on Thursday night, New York police confirm to PEOPLE.
The 61-year-old was found shot twice in the torso at about 7 p.m., and was pronounced dead on arrival by police, according to a police statement. His wife and two sons were all inside the home when the gunfire erupted, CBS2 reports.
No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing, police tell PEOPLE. The suspect – a man in his 30s, wearing a black hoodie – was last seen fleeing the scene around the time shots were heard, ABC7 reports.
L&B Spumoni Gardens, in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn, is one of Brooklyn’s most acclaimed pizzerias, known for its Sicilian-style slices, Italian ices, and homemade Spumoni – a three-layered ice cream with nuts and fruit. The four generation, family-run business has been in operation since the 1930s, founded by Barbati s grandfather.
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Its signature sauce – laid over the cheese on its Sicilian slices – came up in a 2012 federal extortion case involving alleged Colombo crime family member Francis Guerra, who was related through marriage to an L&B owner, Guerra s lawyer confirms to PEOPLE. Guerra had been accused of threatening an alleged Bonanno crime family associate in retaliation for the associate’s allegedly stealing L&B s recipe, but he was acquitted of all charges, his attorney, Matthew J. Mari tells PEOPLE.
“It was nonsense from the very beginning. No one at L&B pizza was complaining to anyone about anything,” Mari says.
Investigators returned to Barbati’s home Friday morning, NBC New York reports, examining two bullet holes near a garage in a white fence. “There were also evidence markers on the ground near a parked car,” they say.