White Man Brags After Fatally Shooting Black Teenager in West Virginia

In Charleston, West Virginia, a 62-year-old man fatally shot a black teen following a verbal confrontation at a grocery store Monday night. After being arraigned on a first-degree murder charge and jailed Tuesday, William Pulliam, who is white, confessed to the murder of James Means, 15. The incident is now being investigated as a hate crime.

"The way I look at it, that's another piece of trash off the street," Pulliam said, according to a criminal complaint filed by Charleston Detective C.C. Lioi. “I’m sorry, but I’m 62 years old. I’m not going to take a bunch of punks beating me up," he said in a jailhouse interview. "I just shot him, I felt my life was in danger."

But there's mounting evidence to the contrary. Means was unarmed, according to police, which conflicts with Pulliam's confession in which he insisted the teen drew a gun

“The victim wasn’t armed. There was no physical altercation, there was an argument. Words were exchanged. Mr. Pulliam drew a .380 revolver and shot the victim twice and killed him,” Cooper said. “In this case we’re confident a murder charge is appropriate."

Pulliam had a reputation with kids in the neighborhood, according to Means’ friend, Teonno White, 14. 

“One time I went over there to talk to him about it, I said, You’ve got to quit picking on my little brother, that doesn’t look right," White said. “[Pulliam] said, ‘Get the [expletive] off my property,’” White recalled. "He said I need to go on with my nappy Latino self. He’s just a real bad guy.” 

The shooting occurred just a few blocks from the state capitol. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported that Pulliam had been barred from legal gun ownership due to a prior domestic violence conviction.

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