The thugs entered a world of hurt when they barged into Augusto's Harlem restaurant-supply shop, Kaplan Bros. Blue Flame Corp., Thursday afternoon, pulling out a 9mm pistol and pistol-whipping an employee as they demanded cash.
"I told them there wasn't any money. 'Take your gun, put it in your pocket, and go home.' They had a chance to leave," Augusto said.
But they didn't listen.
So Augusto, 72 -- known to most as "Gus" -- channeled his inner Dirty Harry and pulled out the Remington shotgun he had hidden under his desk for 20 years. He opened fire three times, peppering all four men with buckshot.
"I had to shoot them. It was a tough thing to do," he said. "I have to live with that. I'm sad that there are mothers and fathers who lost sons."But Augusto's beaten employee -- who would only give his name as J.B. -- had little sympathy."S- - - went real bad for them, not for me," he said. "I'm breathing. They dead."
Augusto and his employees tried to get back to business as usual yesterday, although it wasn't easy. When a woman came to place a candle outside the shop, J.B. angrily kicked it across the pavement.
"Who's this for?" he demanded of the startled woman. "For the guy who died? F- - - him!"