PORTERVILLE, Calif. - In the South Valley, police say a man threatened to kill another man for the t-shirt he wore. A shirt with an obscenity towards President Donald Trump. Security footage from a Porterville Walmart shows the suspect in the confrontation. Police arrested Jim Rummell on Tuesday.
Eyewitness News spoke to the man who says his anti-Trump shirt almost cost him his life. He says it's not the first time he wore the shirt and won't be the last.
Jeremy Caraway says he's worn this t-shirt many times. The name Trump is printed clearly. But on top of it? An obscenity we had to blur out. Last Friday, Caraway wore the same shirt to the pharmacy at Walmart where he says a man took major offense.
"One of his first words were to me, 'you need to take that (expletive) shirt off or I'm going to kill you,'" said Caraway.
Caraway refused to take it off. That's when he claims the man got in his face.
"It was only then I pushed him and slammed him on the ground to try to get him away from me because he was coming up really close to me," said Caraway.
Police say Walmart's security footage show the suspect grab what looks like a pistol tucked in his waistband. According to a witness, the man started to pull it out but put it back before finally walking out of the store.
"The statements obtained, coupled with the video surveillance support that he was the aggressor," said Porterville Police Sergeant Rick Carrillo.
Carrillo says tips helped police identify the suspect as Jim Rummell of Springville who willingly turned himself in on Tuesday before being arrested. Caraway is a father of five and says fear came over his fiancee when she found out he could have been shot.
"What would she do without their father because somebody decided they wanted to shoot somebody over a shirt?," asked Caraway.
A shirt Caraway says he'll continue to wear in public just not in front of children.
"Generally, I'd probably still wear it but I would probably be more cautious where I wear it. I'm not sure if I want to really die over a shirt because somebody thought they were just too offended by it," said Carway.
Police could not confirm if Rummell had a license to conceal and carry a weapon. But they say no matter what, he's charged with making criminal threats.