Police Commissioner Ray Kelly spoke about the Harlem shop owner who fired at four armed men trying to rob him and beating one of his employees, killing two of the suspects and injuring the other two. Kelly said of 72-year-old Charles "Gus" Augusto, "He certainly had a right under the law to defend himself, defend his co-workers. It looks like his co-worker could have been seriously injured or perhaps killed."
Augusto had purchased the 12-gauge pump-action shotgun 20 years ago, after a previous robbery at his restaurant supply store. He's told the press that he's no hero—"I would have felt like a hero if I could have talked that kid into going home"— and lamented the outcome, "How would you feel? This is terrible. This is really awful. I can't imagine it. Some young kids are dead because they're stupid."
In this interview, Augusto mentions his sadness that there were parents without children and notes how one of his son killed himself with a gun:
The shotgun was registered, but Augusto did not have a permit for it; the police say permits are not required for shotguns. Kelly said, "I know he took no pleasure in this thing. It was the toughest day of his life... No one could take pleasure in taking a life, but all indications are he acted pursuant to New York penal law."