Prineville bar shooting suspect surrenders in Madras

Arrest warrant was issued after he posted bail

Suspect in Prineville bar shooting arrested again

PRINEVILLE, Ore. - (Update: Shooting suspect turns self in in Madras; court appearance delayed until Tuesday)

A Prineville man accused of shooting a Bend man several times at a Prineville bar on New Year's Eve surrendered to authorities in Madras on Monday, three days after a warrant was issued and he was believed to have fled the area while out on bail.

Crook County District Attorney Wade Whiting said in an email to NewsChannel 21 early Monday afternoon that Omar Ramzi Araim, 26, "was arrested on the outstanding warrant just moments ago."

Prineville Police Chief Dale Cummins said Araim was arrested in the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office parking lot around 12:45 p.m., his attorney at his side. He will be held in the Jefferson County Jail on  a no-bail warrant.

The arrest came shortly before Araim was scheduled to appear in Crook County Circuit Court to be arraigned on an indictment on attempted murder and other charges. That was pushed back, until Tuesday afternoon.

The arrest warrant was issued Friday for Araim, who had posted $71,000 security on a total $710,000 bail and was released from the Crook County Jail, but authorities said had violated his release conditions and apparently left the county.

Araim was arrested a week ago in the shooting that critically injured Nicholas Dale Ricks, 38, of Bend, in the bar at the Crossroads BBQ Pit & Pub.

Araim had been found nearby and arrested on initial charges of attempted murder, first-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and six counts of recklessly endangering another person.

A Crook County grand jury indicted Araim Friday on those charges, as well as two more counts of recklessly endangering.

At Araim’s first court appearance on Tuesday, District Attorney Wade Whiting requested a higher bail than the standard $250,000 bail on the attempted murder charge against Araim, who has a dual citizenship with the United Kingdom.

Circuit Judge Annette Hillman agreed to a higher bail, of $710,000. She also laid out several other conditions, including that he surrender his passport. 

John Ricks of Bend told NewsChannel 21 on Friday evening the judge had allowed him to speak and he argued for either holding Araim without bail, or a higher bail than the DA’s proposed $500,000 — he said he’d suggested $5 million — and that played a role in her decision.

Whiting said Araim turned over his passport to the sheriff’s office when he was released from jail Wednesday upon posting $71,000 security (10 percent of the bail amount).

Hillman also ordered that Araim have no contact with the victim or his girlfriend, and that he not leave Crook County, among other conditions. He was scheduled for arraignment on the formal indictment next Monday.

After authorities said Araim violated several conditions of his release, Circuit Judge Daina Vitolins signed an order Friday revoking his release agreement and issuing a warrant for his arrest. Whiting said local, state and nationwide law enforcement have been notified to be on the lookout for him.

Whiting also told NewsChannel 21 that when Araim returned to jail, he will be held without bail for violating conditions of his release.

In an affidavit filed Friday seeking the arrest warrant, Prineville police Officer James Petersen said a fellow officer informed him early Wednesday that Araim had left the county and violated his release.

Officers said Araim got a cab ride from Prineville to a hotel in Madras. The taxi driver told police he got a call to pick up Araim’s girlfriend from a Prineville motel, and that he knew her from taking her to the jail the previous night.

The cab driver said he drove the girlfriend to a Redmond motel and later picked up Araim — whom he had picked up from the jail the day before — from his Prineville home. 

He said Araim asked to be driven to a Madras motel, and had a suitcase, backpack and hand-held bag with him. He later offered the driver another $40 to take the backpack to his girlfriend and he did so.

John Ricks said Friday his brother Nicholas has been moved out of intensive care at St. Charles Bend and was breathing on his own, but paralyzed from the waist down.

“He has a long road ahead, with life-long injuries,” Ricks said.

“My brother is a good, Christian man, who takes care of his family,” John Ricks said, adding that he’d been staying with his brother previously.

“We are not angry at the system,” he said. “We are not holding hatred, we are not holding vendettas. Our family lives together, and my focus is on my brother recovering. Baby steps."

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