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Man charged in death of Cicero pizzeria owner

A Chicago man was charged with the death of a popular pizzeria owner in Cicero.

Matthew A. Brown-Turner, 25, is charged with killing Giovanni Donancricchia. He owned Albano’s Pizzeria.

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A judge denied bond for the man charged with murdering a popular restaurant owner in Cicero.

A witness helped Cicero Police identify Matthew A. Brown-Turner, 25, who is charged with shooting and killing pizzeria owner Giovanni Donancricchia, 64, after midnight on Thursday.

CICERO MURDER SUSPECTSurveillance footage showed Brown-Turner entering the restaurant through the back door and pointing a gun at the owner’s wife Angela Donancricchia when Giovanni Donancricchia confronted the man and was fatally shot in the chest.

“At that point it wasn’t about the money, and he wasn’t going to have that,” Saverio Donancricchia, Giovanni’s son, said.

While relatives of Donancricchia are mourning his death, they are relieved to see his suspected killer in police custody. Saverio hopes his father will be remembered as a hero.

“He would take the left over slices and off the 290 Austin ramp he would see homeless people and just give it to them,” Saverio said.

After nearly 25 years, the restaurant remains closed, giving time for family and friends to grieve.

“They were married over 40 years,” Saverio said. “He took care of everything.”

A Chicago man has been arrested and charged with the death of a popular pizzeria owner in Cicero.

Matthew A. Brown-Turner, 25,  is charged with killing  Giovanni Donancricchia early  Thursday morning.

Investigators say Brown-Turner entered Albano’s Pizza through a back door, just after the restaurant closed.

He threatened Giovanni’s wife, Angelea, with a gun but was confronted by Giovanni.  His wife fled, but Giovanni was shot once in the chest and died.
Police say the shooting was caught on a security camera and Brown-Turner can be seen with a gun.

He is charged with three counts of murder and one count of attempted armed robbery.
Brown-Turner is due in bond court this morning.

The owner of a popular restaurant in Cicero was shot and killed in an apparent robbery early this morning.

Giovanni Donancricchia had been serving up tasty pizza puffs and Italian beef sandwiches in Cicero for 25 years.  His Italian food was so popular, his restaurant Albano’s was featured on Chicago’s Best in February.  About 12:30 a.m., he and his wife had just closed up for the night when a man armed with a gun entered the restaurant through the back door.

“My father was in the walk-in cooler,” said Saverio Donancricchia the victim’s Son.  “(The robber) went through the back door and put a gun to my mother’s head and said ‘Give me your money.’”

Saverio says his father confronted the man after telling his wife to leave and call police.  He says a short while later she heard a gunshot and saw the man run out the back down the alley.

albanospizzaowner

Giovanni Donancricchia, owner of Albanos Pizzeria in Cicero

“I don’t know if there was a struggle or anything.  She was on the phone with the police the whole time,” he said.

Donancricchia’s son says his father was well-known and well-liked by everyone in the neighborhood.

“He was caring and had a big heart,” he said.

Donancricchia was pronounced dead just before 1 a.m.

Today, a small memorial outside the restaurant continues to grow.  He is survived by a large family including 6 grandchildren.  Extended family members are still being notified in Italy.

This afternoon relatives gathered at the family home in River Grove hoping Cicero police will quickly catch the killer.

The owner of a pizzeria in Cicero was fatally shot early Thursday morning at his restaurant after an apparent robbery.

albanospizzaowner

Giovanni Donancricchia, owner of Albano’s Pizzeria in Cicero

Giovanni Donancricchia, 64, owner of Albano’s Pizzeria, was pronounced dead at 12:56 a.m. at the scene after confronting the male attacker.

Albano’s Pizzeria is located at 5913 W. Roosevelt Rd.

Over the winter, Donancricchia and his restaurant were featured on an episode of ‘Chicago’s Best’, seen on WGN.

He was a native of Sicily and had run Albano’s for about 25 years.

This is a developing story. Check back for details.

WGN Web Producer Ally Suffrin published this report. 

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