A West Virginia white man is in police custody after fatally shooting an unarmed black teen who he allegedly referred to as, “another piece of trash.”
William Ronald Pulliam, 62, was reportedly a known neighborhood bigot who wasn’t even permitted to carry a gun because of a previous domestic violence conviction, The Root reports.
None of that stopped him from gunning down 15-year-old James Harvey Means on Monday night with a .380 caliber revolver after a confrontation at a Dollar General store.
After being detained by police following the murder, Pulliam showed absolutely no remorse. He acknowledged what he had done and said, “The way I look at it, that’s another piece of trash off the street.”
Pulliam even went home for dinner and then over to a friend’s house after killing the young boy. The gun he used in the shooting was later found at the friend’s home he was visiting.
Charleston police are reportedly taking steps to have the killing ruled as a hate crime. Apparently, the initial altercation was sparked after Means and Pulliam bumped into each other outside of the variety store and exchanged words.
After the verbal confrontation, Pulliam went into the store and Means met up with his friends on the porch of a nearby home where one of their grandmothers lives.
When Pulliam exited the store and walked past the porch, the two had another argument. Means reportedly got up and walked up to Pulliam to confront him, which is when Pulliam pulled out his firearm and shot Means twice.
According to the New York Daily News, Pulliam had a previous encounter with a Hispanic teenager who called the cops on him, but was simply told to stay away from him.
Unfortunately, these senseless killings have become a common thread woven into American society. This incident mirrors countless others, including the 2012 fatal shooting of then 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
There is no reason why a 62-year-old grown man should have let a confrontation with a 15-year-old kid escalate to that degree. This was undoubtedly a malicious act on Pulliam’s part.
As details of the situation unfold, it is likely that some will argue Means was the aggressor if he got off the porch to approach Pulliam in the street. However, as an adult, Pulliam should have never engaged with the boy. Furthermore, he had the choice to walk away.
Instead, he chose to take the boy’s life because, as Pulliam said himself, he saw him as nothing more than trash.
This exemplifies the heartbreaking state race relations in the United States are currently in.
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @AldinMetovic