An owner of famed pizzeria and Italian destination L&B Spumoni Gardens was found shot to death outside his home in Dyker Heights yesterday evening. Police were called to 12th Avenue and 76th Street, after the body of Louis Barbati was found in the backyard of his home.
"I ran up and he was face-down on the stairs," one neighbor recalled to the Daily News. "I saw blood on the stairs and blood on his back."
Barbati had been shot twice in the chest and was declared dead en route to the hospital. His wife and two sons were home at the time of what law enforcement officials are investigating as a possible targeted killing, seeking a gunman in his 30s seen wearing a black hoodie.
In 2009, alleged Colombo mobster Francis Guerra, related through marriage to an L&B owner, faced charges for his alleged involvement with two gangland murders. Guerra allegedly threatened Eugene Lombardo, a former employee of L&B, because he believed Lombardo copied L&B’s tomato sauce when he opened slice spot The Square in Staten Island. Charges against Guerra were dropped in 2012.
L&B was started by Ludovico Barbati in 1939 and has continued to be a fixture in the Gravesend community and a destination for superlative Sicilian pizza in New York City. Locals are mourning Barbati's loss, as are elected officials including Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who scheduled—then canceled—a press conference about the incident.
— Eric Adams (@BPEricAdams) July 1, 2016
"It’s a big loss for everyone in the neighborhood," nearby resident Frankie Modafferi told the Post. "Everyone loves L&B and everyone loves Louie."