The co-owner of iconic Brooklyn pizzeria L&B Spumoni Gardens was shot to death in a targeted hit outside his Brooklyn home Thursday night.
Police found the slumped body of Louis Barbati, 61, at his home on 12th Avenue in Dyker Heights at about 7 p.m. with gunshot wounds to the head and chest, according to law enforcement sources.
The assassin, described as a white man in his 30s wearing a black hoodie, approached Barbati, who was returning from the Bensonhurst pizzeria, which was once at the center of a Mafia extortion plot over a stolen sauce recipe.
Barbati’s wife and children were home at the time.
He was shot near the side door of the house in what police investigators said looked like an assassination — although the motive had not been determined.
L&B was founded by Barbati’s grandfather Ludovico Barbati in 1939.
In 2009, Colombo crime family associate Francis “BF” Guerra, related through marriage to another co-owner, was accused of threatening and demanding money from a Staten Island pizzeria owner for allegedly stealing L&B’s pizza sauce recipe. He was cleared in a 2012 trial.
“I’m shocked,” said a neighbor who identified himself only as Peter. “Lou was a good guy. His family is broken up. Everyone knew him here. He was well-liked.”
The pizzeria owner was declared dead in an ambulance en route to the hospital. The gunman remained at large Thursday night.
Residents in the close-knit Italian neighborhood mourned the loss of the owner of their favorite pizza joint. “I’ve been eating at L&B since I was a kid,” said neighbor Frankie Modafferi.
“It’s a big loss for everyone in the neighborhood. Everyone loves L&B and everyone loves Louie.”
The eatery is renowned for its Sicilian pies.
Ludovico began the business selling his product out of a horse-drawn carriage in the neighborhood, and eventually purchased property on 86th Street to sell pies and spumoni ices.