It was around 7 p.m. when Louis Barbati climbed the steps to his Brooklyn home after another hard day at work making Sicilian pies at the iconic L&B Spumoni Gardens, a popular pizzeria he co-owns. Behind him a hooded man raised his gun and fired several shots hitting his mark in the head and chest. 61-year-old Barbati died holding a loaf of bread and a plastic bag containing $15,000.
An Italian-American who co-owns a pizza parlor in New York is executed by a hooded gunman in front of his home as he arrives from work. As he lays dying his executioner does not even grab the bag filled with thousands of dollars, but simply hurries off.
A robbery gone awry it was not. No, this had all the earmarks of a mob hit.
At least, that is what it looks like to many people – the public, media, law enforcement. Especially when Barbati’s partner in the pizzeria is related by marriage to alleged Colombo crime family associate Francis “BF” Guerra, who, in 2009, was accused - and acquitted - of threatening and demanding money from a Staten Island pizzeria owner for purportedly stealing L&B’s pizza sauce recipe.
So far, that is all us mob gossipers have to go by. Which, honestly, is little to nothing. Barbati was a well-liked guy and the neighborhood residents loved his L&B Spumoni Gardens pizzeria. There should be no reason why he’d be the victim of such a professional hit.
Police have said the gunman is a white man in his 30’s wearing a black hoodie and gray pants. Which, again, fits perfectly in the theory that it was a contract hit orchestrated by the Mafia. But why?
We will have to wait until someone starts singing.
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