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West Virginia bigot unrepentant after killing unarmed black teen: ‘just another piece of trash off the street’

A 62-year-old West Virginia man has absolutely no remorse after fatally shooting an unarmed 15-year-old boy twice in the stomach.

William Ronald Pulliam has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of James Means, whom he killed Monday evening in the East end of Charleston, West Virginia. Pulliam, who used a .380 handgun to kill Means, wasn’t even supposed to have a gun due to a previous domestic violence conviction, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail. After killing the teenage boy, Pulliam casually went about his day, first going to dinner, then visiting a female friend. He was later arrested at the friend’s home, where police also seized the murder weapon.

During an interview with Charleston police following his arrest, Pulliam admitted to shooting Means, saying, “The way I look at it, that’s just another piece of trash off the street.”

The Gazette-Mail reported that Pulliam seemed surprised that he wouldn’t be let out of jail prior to December 1.

“I’ll lose my job and everything unless I can get out of here,” Pulliam said during a video conference. “I’m going to have to go on a hunger strike.”

Prior to the shooting, Pulliam and Means bumped into one another at a Dollar General near the West Virginia state capitol building around 8:45 PM on Monday night. The two exchanged words, whereupon Pulliam went into the store and Means went to a friend’s grandmother’s house nearby. After leaving the store, Pulliam walked by the porch where Means was sitting and shouted insults at him from across the street, according to 13-year-old James Cooper, who witnessed the shooting. When Means left the porch to confront Pulliam, Pulliam shot him twice.

Teresa Means, aunt to James Harvey Means, told local media her nephew was “an awesome kid.”

“[He] could put a smile on anybody’s face, no matter the situation,” Means told WSAZ-TV.

Local mentor Obi Henderson, founder of the Dream Chasers program in Charleston that focuses on inner city youth development, described Means as a driven young man whose dream was to be a mechanic and open up his own shop.

“The fact that [Pulliam] referred to two young African-American males, youth as trash is very disheartening and discouraging,” Henderson told WSAZ. “[T]hat in 2016, people walk around with such hate in their heart.”

Lt. Steve Cooper, chief of detectives for the Charleston Police Department, said he felt a murder charge was appropriate for Pulliam, given the brutality of his crime.

“The victim was unarmed. There was not a physical altercation,” Cooper told WV Metro News.

Pulliam’s possession of a gun is in violation of an order issued by the Kanawha County Magistrate Court, after Pulliam punched his pregnant daughter in the face, kicked her in the stomach, and shoved his wife to the ground in a 2013 incident.

Local law enforcement is asking federal authorities to determine whether or not Pulliam’s charge should be prosecuted as a hate crime, given the fact that Pulliam is white and Means is black.

Watch WSAZ’s report on the shooting here:


Tom Cahill is a writer for US Uncut based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at [email protected], or friend him on Facebook.

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