DYKER HEIGHTS — An inept criminal shot the co-owner of renowned pizzeria L&B Spumoni Gardens in a "botched robbery" over the $10,000 he carried home from the restaurant and then fled as his victim lay dying on the ground, police said.
Louis Barbati, 61, left his restaurant at 6:30 p.m. and arrived home at 7601 12th Ave. about 30 minutes later, stepping out of his car and into the gunman's crosshairs, according to NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.
"He did have a substantial amount of cash with him. It's not something he normally does," Boyce said during a Friday press conference.
"It's possibly a botched robbery attempt," he added.
The gunman fired five rounds, each hitting Barbati in the torso, police said.
Investigators believe Barbati was the target of a robbery because he had been carrying $10,000 at the time, Boyce said.
But the would-be robber didn't take the cash or any jewelry Barbati was wearing, fleeing the scene empty handed, sources said.
There were no immediate arrests, but the gunman is believed to be in his 30s, police said.
Barbati's family has run Spumoni Gardens for four generations and known for its Sicilian square pizza slices.