top of page
  • Writer's pictureABQ RAW

Giovanni's Pizzeria Owner Murdered and Robbed over $15 in workers Tips, Suspect Booked

ABQ RAW staff

Posted 08/31/2022 @5:21PM

Career criminal Sylvan Alcahupas is accused of shooting and killing Giovannis pizzeria owner in SE Albuquerque.

On August 30th, 2022, APD officers were dispatched to a shotspotter activation and a 911 call from an employee of Giovannis who said his boss had been killed during a robbery. APD officers found the gunshot victim at 923 San Pedro SE in front of the Pizzeria. The victim was identified as Rosario Zito the longtime Giovanni's Pizzeria owner.

Albuquerque Police were able to find the suspect in a matter of minutes just east of the shooting incident. The suspect has been identified as Sylvan Alcachupas of Albuquerque.

According to the criminal complaint, Alcachupas dressed in dark clothing approached a group of employees outside of the Giovanni's Pizzeria who had just closed the store. Alcachupas pointed a gun at the group and told them "this is a robbery". The employees emptied their pockets and put a total of $15 on the ground their combined tips for the night. Alcachupas then challenged Zito by saying "you wanna play?" Zito responded back with "yeah let's play." Zito had a concealed firearm and he chambered a round into the gun. (story continued below)

The complaint goes on to say witnesses say the two then exchanged gunfire and Zito was hit three times by Alcahupas gun. Zito's fatal wounds were in his chest and head. Zito died on scene. Alcahupas fled the scene but a short time later Albuquerque Police officers were able to locate and detain him. A female was with Alcahupas when APD officers first approached him. Officers watched Alcahupas pass an unknown object to her and she fled the area. The murder weapon was not recovered during the detectives investigation. (story continues below)

Earlier today Giovanni's Pizzeria Facebook page gave a tribute to their owner:

Detectives interviewed Alcahupas and when they questioned him about his clothing matching someone who was fleeing the gunshots scene, Sylvan stated that he had just got the clothes from a subject, who he refused to name, at approximately 3:00PM the previous day. Sylvan stated that he knew nothing of a bullet found in the clothing he was wearing which had markings that matched those of the casings located at the homicide scene. Alcahupas stated that the money in the pockets was indeed his. Sylvan eventually went on to state that anything found in his pockets would be his. Detectives questioned Sylvan about why he was seen on security footage inside of the shopping center that contained 921 San Pedro Dr SE. At this point Sylvan asked if he was going to be charged with murder. It should be noted that detectives never stated that anyone had been killed, or even that anyone had been shot, only that shots had been fired in the area.


We found that Alcahupas has an extensive violent felony criminal record dating back to 2014 where most of the cases were dismissed or pled out for little, to no jail time. Alcachupas did accept a guilty plea agreement for a felony armed robbery in 2020. He was sentenced to five years of supervised probation but District Court Judge Cindy Mercer had recently signed an order, August 24, revoking his probation and issuing a bench warrant after he was accused of violating it.

In 2021 he was in a high speed chase with APD throughout Albuquerque. That case was dismissed by District Attorney Raúl Torrez's office because "The State has determined it is not in the interest of justice to proceed."

Alcachupas is now charged with an open count of murder in the first degree, robbery, and tampering with evidence (Highest Crime a Capital, First or Second Degree Felony) for Zito's murder.

5,539 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page