CHARLESTON, W.Va. — What began as a verbal altercation ended in death Monday night in Charleston, police said.

William Ronald Pulliam is charged with murder.


William Ronald Pulliam is charged with murder.

William Ronald Pulliam, 62, of Charleston, is in the South Central Regional Jail without bail after his arrest Tuesday morning on a charge of first degree murder.

Pulliam shot and killed James Means, 15, on Charleston’s East End, according to Charleston Police Department Chief of Detectives Lt. Steve Cooper.

“The victim wasn’t armed–there was no physical altercation–there was an argument. Words were exchanged. Mr. Pulliam drew a .380 revolver and shot the victim twice and killed him,” Cooper said.

A criminal complaint filed by police said Pulliam admitted to the shooting. He told police he felt threatened. But Cooper said the facts don’t point to self-defense.

“In this case we’re confident a murder charge is appropriate,” Cooper said. “What I would recommend for anyone who enters into an argument–call 911 if you feel threatened. Unless you are defending your own life or someone else’s you just can’t shooting anyone–and that’s what happened here.”

According to a criminal complaint Pulliam showed little remorse.

“The way I look at it, that’s another piece of trash off the street,” he allegedly told police.

Cooper said Means was a local student apparently in between schools. He was shot in the chest and stomach. He died at CAMC General.

“The victim was unarmed. There was not a physical altercation,” Cooper reiterated.

The shooting took place at around 8:45 p.m. Monday in the 1500 block of Washington Street East near the Dollar General Store, which is just a few blocks from the state capitol.


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