West Virginia police arrested and charged a 62-year-old man for shooting and killing unarmed teenager James Means in Charleston’s East End. According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, William Ronald Pulliam was supposedly restricted from having a gun due to domestic violence incidents.
On Monday night, Pulliam engaged in a confrontation with 15-year-old Means outside of a Dollar General store, said authorities.
Witnesses saw Pulliam and Means engage in an argument on the sidewalk near Dollar General, according to the complaint. Then Pulliam entered the store, and Means and his friends sat on the porch at the nearby home of a companion’s grandmother.
Once Pulliam left the store, he walked past the porch where Means and his friends were located. The two exchanged more words and Means crossed the street to approach Pulliam, said witnesses. Pulliam then shot Means twice in the abdomen, according to the complaint. The teen died shortly after arrival at Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital.
After his arrest, Pulliam displayed no signs of remorse and even told officials, "The way I look at it, that's another piece of trash off the street,” said police. He also admitted to going out to dinner and relaxing at a friend's house after shooting Means.
Now many wonder if Pulliam’s actions can be viewed as a hate crime.
"That review is in its early stages, and the fact that a review is being conducted should not be taken as any indication of what the review's outcome will be," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Ruby to WSAZ. [The hate crime statutes] establishes a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for willfully using a firearm to kill another person because of the victim's actual or perceived race, color, religion or national origin."
(Photo: Thomas Cristofoletti/Getty Images)