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Man charged with murder speaks out from jail

In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, William Pulliam says he had no other choice than to shoot a 15 year old in Charleston. Pulliam is charged with first-degree murder. (WCHS/WVAH)

CHARLESTON, WV (WCHS/WVAH) - A man charged with shooting and killing a 15 year old in Charleston after police said the two bumped into each other and exchanged words told Eyewitness News in an exclusive interview that he had no other choice.

"I don't like it. I mean believe me, I did not want to kill anybody, but they're not going to kill me,” William Pulliam said Tuesday evening at the South Central Regional Jail. (Watch the video above for the full interview)

Pulliam, 62, has been charged with first-degree murder. Pulliam was on his way home from Dollar General on Washington Street East Monday night when police said he shot and killed 15-year-old James Means.

"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,” Pulliam said.

When he was walking to Dollar General, Pulliam saw three kids were hanging around a house. He said they were looking at him funny and laughing. When he got closer, Pulliam said, one of the boys cursed at him.

" ‘What the (expletive) did you say to me?’ " Pulliam recalled.


Pulliam said James Means flashed a gun at him, and the teenager's friends were saying Means should shoot him, but nothing happened. Pulliam went on to Dollar General. When he was walking back, he chose to walk on the other side of the street, so he wouldn't have to go back in front of the house, he said. He said Means saw him, came across the street and started taunting him with the gun.

"I just shot him. I felt my life was in danger," Pulliam said.

Pulliam, who lives on the East End, said he had never seen Means or the other two boys previously. He believes the boys were out looking for trouble, and he said he has no idea why they decided to start something with him.

"I work. I'm a good citizen. I don't do anything to anybody,” he said.

In the criminal complaint, officers said Pulliam told them, "The way I look at it, I took another piece of trash off the street.” Pulliam said he never said that and this has nothing at all to do with race.

"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 said.

Meanwhile, the family of the 15 year old said it is shattered by what happened and said it is praying for the justice system to do its job.


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