UPDATED: 6/20/2013 12:55 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — The owner of a popular west suburban restaurant was killed Thursday while trying to protect his wife from an armed robber.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports 64-year-old Giovanni Donancricchia and his wife, Angela, were closing his pizzeria, Stella Albano’s in Cicero, around 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, when a robber walked through the back door.
When the suspect put a gun to the head of his wife, Donancricchia grabbed her and told her to run out of the restaurant.
As she got outside, she heard the gunshots that killed her husband of 42 years.
Donancricchia, a native of Sicily, had owned the restaurant in the 5900 block of West Roosevelt Road for about 25 years, according to Cicero town spokesman Ray Hanania.
“He was the flagship of our family,” said Donancricchia’s son, Saverio. “He came here and put me and my sisters through college and gave us a much better life than we had in Sicily.”
The pizzeria was a popular spot in Cicero and was famous for its pizza puffs. The restaurant was once featured on a Travel Channel segment.
Donancricchia was pronounced dead at the scene just before 1 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Donancricchia named the restaurant Stella Albano’s in honor of his wife.