CLEVELAND – Action News' Ed Gallek confirmed on Thursday that the robber who was fatally shot by a store employee on Tuesday at a Citgo gas station on East 156th Street in Cleveland was only 16 years old.
The positive identification of Alphanza Means (pictured, right) surprised the teen's family, who thought that he was staying with friends for a few days.
Means' father, William Oliver, said that he wants to know where his son got the gun he was carrying on Tuesday and why he decided to try to rob the store.
"That's my son, and I'll always love him," Oliver said. "Now his life is gone, and we can't bring him back."
When the holdup made headlines on Tuesday, Oliver and his wife didn't think for one second that Means was the person responsible. Realization of that fact after being told on Thursday created grief that brought Oliver to tears.
"First thing, I thought, 'No. Hell no,'" Oliver said. "I mean that's my son."
Not only does Oliver want to know where Means got the gun, but he also questions the store clerk's claim of self-defense.
"Was he shot while going away?" Oliver asked. "Or was he shot standing, point-blank range? Turning and walking?
"There's always three sides to a story: his side, the other side and the truth. Now, his side will never be told."
Means had dropped out of school, but prosecutors said that he'd never been convicted of any crime. Oliver had always considered him a bit of a comedian.
So how did he go from that to armed robber and shooting victim? His father can only guess.