A Dyker Heights resident and co-owner of the iconic pizzeria L&B Spumoni Gardens was fatally shot in the vicinity of his home Thursday evening.
Officers responded to a 911 call at 7601 12th Avenue on Thursday, June 30, at approximately 7:02pm, and found 61-year-old Louis Barbati in the backyard with bullet wounds to his torso, according to police.
Barbati’s body was found slumped near the door of the house, sources said. His wife and two sons were in the home at the time of the shooting, sources said.
The suspect fired multiple shots, sources said. Police described him as a white male in his 30s wearing a black hooded sweat shirt.
EMS responded and pronounced the Barbati dead at the scene. No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.
The beloved Gravesend restaurant Barbati owned — located at 2725 86th Street — was started by his grandfather Ludovico Barbati in 1938, when he learned from a baker how to make pizza in a garage on West 8th Street, according to L&B’s website. Ludovico famously got his start selling spumoni and pizza out of his horse-drawn cart.
L&B was once at the center of an Italian mafia-connected extortion plot. In 2012, reputed Columbo associate and former Barbati son-in-law Frank Guerra was acquitted of a double murder of former underboss Joseph Scopo and Staten Island club owner Michael Devine, as well as the extortion of a former employee of his family’s pizzeria, whom he accused of divulging L&B’s secret pizza sauce recipe.
There hasn’t been a gun death in the quiet, residential neighborhood of Dyker Heights in more than two years, according to crime statistics. In Bensonhurst, two men, ages 48 and 31, were shot outside Living Room Steakhouse and Lounge two weeks ago. Both survived the shooting.
Our sincerest condolences go out to Barbati’s family and friends during this difficult time.
Update [July 1, 12:30pm]: The Barbati family, who spent the morning holed up at the Gravesend eatery, is asking for privacy from fans, friends, and media outlets so that they may grieve the sudden loss. The restaurant opened as usual at 11am Friday morning. Some employees were seen wiping tears away as they set up tables.
Photos of the crime scene are courtesy of Mike Wright.
Editor’s note: This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will keep you posted as we learn more.