A 62-year-old white man accused of shooting a 15-year-old black teenager to death Monday night in Charleston, W.Va., allegedly told police after the murder, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail: "The way I look at it, that’s another piece of trash off the street.
It is a statement William Robert Pulliam has since denied making, according to CNN, but he has been charged with first-degree murder, shooting James Harvey Means twice in the abdomen with a .380 caliber revolver, a gun the law did not allow him to have.
Pulliam told CNN affiliate WCHS, in a jailhouse interview, the shooting was self-defense, fearing for his life after the teen pulled a gun on him. The police report did not mention Means having a weapon.
"I mean, believe me, I did not want to kill anybody, but they're not going to kill me," he told the station. "I felt my life was in danger. I'm sorry, but I'm 62 years old. I'm not going to take a bunch of punks beating me up."
". . . I don't care if they're white or black. Nobody's gonna do my like that. It doesn't make any difference he's black. . . . I get along with all of them. Ask them."
Multiple news reports, citing the police report, say Pulliam went home after the shooting to have dinner and then visited a woman's home, where police recovered the gun that allegedly killed the teen.
Police had asked federal authorities to determine if the shooting met criteria of a hate crime, according to the paper.
"If in the course of the local investigation, information comes to light of a potential federal civil rights violation, the FBI is prepared to investigate," the FBI wrote in an email statement, according to CNN.
Pulliam had not been allowed to possess a gun because of a previous domestic battery conviction to which he plead no contest in 2013, according to the report.
There have been previous interactions between Pulliam and a friend of Means, who said the 62-year-old was picking on his little brother.
"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,'" Teonno White, 14, told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. "He said, 'Get the [expletive] off my property.' He said I 'need to go on with my nappy Latino self.'
"He's just a real bad guy."
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