A 62-year-old Charleston, West Virginia, man charged with murdering a 15-year-old Black teen after the two exchanged words told a local news outlet that he had no other alternative but to defend himself.
William Pulliam is behind bars after killing James Harvey Means Monday, Nov. 21 near a Dollar General store.
According to initial reports from WCHS’ ABC 8 Eyewitness News, Pulliam came face to face with the victim when the two exchanged words around 9 p.m. after Pulliam returned from the nearby store.
A witness complaint reported that Pulliam walked by James and his friends, who sitting on a porch, on his way to the store. During his return trip, Pulliam shot the teen with a .380-caliber revolver after Means allegedly taunted him with a gun. Pulliam then went home, ate dinner and then went to a friend’s house.
The news outlet also reported that, according to police, Pulliam also allegedly said, “The way I look at it, that’s another piece of trash off the street.”
However, the man told the news outlet in an exclusive Tuesday, Nov. 22 interview that he was the real victim.
Pulliam says that he walked by the house where Means and his friends were sitting and was mocked and laughed at. He recalls one of the boys saying, “What the f— did you say to me?” He says he told him he did not say anything and proceeded to the store.
As he returned home, he decided to walk on the opposite side of the street. But he says Means walked over and allegedly taunted him with a gun.
“I just shot him [because] I felt my life was in danger,” Pulliam says. “I work. I’m a good citizen. I don’t do anything to anybody.”
In the interview, Pulliam said he never made the trash comments and assured ABC 8 that race had nothing to do with the shooting and that he was only defending himself.
“I don’t care if they’re white or Black. Nobody is going to do me like that. It doesn’t make any difference if he’s Black. My God, everybody I live around over there is Black. I get along with all of them, ask them,” Pulliam states.
Now, the 62-year-old sits at the South Central Regional Jail charged with first-degree murder.