NYPD search for gunman in death of owner of famed pizzeria

AP News
Posted: Jul 01, 2016 2:29 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Authorities in New York were searching Friday for a gunman in the fatal ambush of the owner of the famed L&B Spumoni Gardens pizza restaurant in Brooklyn.

Louis Barbati was shot twice in the torso Thursday night in the backyard of his home in Dyker Heights, police said.

The restaurant, run by Barbati's family for four generations, has been featured on several food shows. It is known for its Sicilian pies.

It also gained notoriety in 2012 when a mob turncoat claimed the restaurant was at the center of a gangland dispute over its red sauce recipe.

Neighbors of Barbati reported hearing several shots around 7 p.m. Thursday. He was found dead at the scene.

Police were searching for the gunman believed to be in his 30s and wearing a black hoodie.

At a federal trial of a reputed Colombo organized crime family associate, a cooperator testified that the defendant — the husband of a member of the L&B family — flew into a rage when he became suspicious that a Staten Island pizzeria stole a red sauce recipe.

The witness testified that as payback, the Colombos tried to extort $75,000 from the owner of the Staten Island eatery. He said the owner ended up only paying $4,000.