The co-owner of famed Gravesend pizzeria and ice cream emporium L&B Spumoni Gardens was shot dead in front of his Dyker Heights home on June 30.
A hooded gunman pumped five rounds into 61-year-old Louis Barbati (inset) at the corner of 12th Avenue and 76th Street and then fled at 7:12 pm, officials said.
Police believe the shooter was trying to rob Barbati, who was found with $15,000 cash on his corpse, officials said.
Gunplay is so rare in the middle-class neighborhood — known for its colorful Christmas decorations each Yuletide — that the attack must have been planned, a local pol said.
“It’s usually a quiet area, so there gotta be a reason for it,” Assemblyman Peter Abbate (D–Bensonhurst) told this paper. “It’s not random violence.”
The shooter was a white male in his 30s last seen wearing cargo shorts and a black hooded sweatshirt, police said.
Neighbors speculated the slaying was tied to the mob, according to our news partner Pix 11, and a source told this paper it may have been related to gambling debts.
Mafia clans the Colombo and Bonnano families nearly went to war over a sauce recipe stolen from the famed pizzeria in 2012, according to a Daily News account.
Barbati’s grandfather Ludovico Barbati started the slice-and-ice empire in Brooklyn in 1938, first pedaling his pies from a horse-drawn carriage. The pizzaiolo topped off his eatery at the corner of 86th and W. 10th streets in the mid-1950s, according to the restaurant’s website.
The family held a funeral at St. Ephrems on July 5 and buried Barbati at St. John Cemetery in Queens.