DYKER HEIGHTS, Brooklyn – The NYPD is investigating the shooting death of a popular Brooklyn pizzeria's co-owner who was found in the backyard of his home.
Police said 61-year-old Louis Barbati, who partly owned the iconic L&B Spumoni Gardens in Gravesend, was coming home from work when he was confronted by the hooded gunman just after 7 p.m. Thursday. He was then shot twice outside his house on 12th Avenue near 76th Street, where he died steps away from his wife and kids who were inside, according to the NYPD.
Deputy Chief Vincent DiDonato of the Brooklyn South Bureau told PIX11 the suspect, possibly in his 30s, ran west on 76th Street toward 11th Avenue.
Police say they have no further description of the shooter at this time.
Barbati was well-known throughout the city for co-owning the pizzeria started by his grandfather in 1939. Famous for its delicious Sicilian pizza slices, L&B Spumoni Gardens was even featured on the Travel Channel's "Man Vs. Food."
Borough President Eric Adams mourned on Twitter the loss of Barbati, saying he's the victim of another senseless shooting. Adams scheduled a press conference at 10:30 a.m. Friday outside his pizzeria in Gravesend to address the tragedy.
Customers and family friends are also trying to come to terms with his killing early Friday morning.
"He was a joyful guy, everyone loved him," Kyle Twohig said. "Happy guy never had a problem with anyone."
"He was a wonderful family man that's all I can say," Janet Nochella said.
Some of his employees present overnight at L&B Spumoni did not speak with PIX11.