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Crime And Courts

Prineville shooting victim sues gunman for $21 million

ARAIM, OMAR WEB
Crook County Jail
Omar Ramzi Araim

Was shot three times in back at bar during New Year's party

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A Bend man who was left paralyzed in a shooting at a Prineville bar's New Year's Eve party two years ago has sued his attacker for more than $21.5 million.

Nicholas Ricks filed the lawsuit Monday in Crook County Circuit Court agains Omar Ramzi Araim, who shot Ricks three times in the back during a party at the Croosroads BBQ Pit and Pub.

Ricks helped break up a fight at the bar around 1:15 a.m. when Araim left, got a handgun out of his truck, returned and shot Ricks, leaving him with numerous injuries, severe pain to this day and several more procedures to come, according to his attorney, Tim Williams.

Araim surrendered to authorities three days after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He pleaded guilty in December 2018 to attempted murder and five counts of recklessly endangering another person.

Araim was sentenced to an 80-month prison term, meaning he won't be eligible for release from the Snake River Correctional Institution until 2024.

Along with $6.5 million in economic damages, including medical costs and impairment of earning capacity, the lawsuit seseks non-economic damages from a jury of up to $15 million.

Williams said the two-year statute of limitations for filing such a claim would have run out Wednesday. He said they don't know Araim's current financial status and aren't entitled to learn that until and unless a civil judgment is reached.

"Obviously, if he currently has significant assets, those are collectible, but only if this suit were filed by today," Williams said in an email Wednesday.

"Even if Mr. Araim has minimal assets now, if, for example, he were to come into money in the future, Nick’s ability to recover out of those funds would be permanently precluded, had he not filed the lawsuit by today."

Williams also noted that the bar was not named in the lawsuit because "we didn't see any liability" on their part, such as over-serving, "as (Araim) had only one drink."

"Nor did he display the firearm long enough to put bar staff on notice that he had retrieved it from his truck prior to shooting Nick in the back several times in quick succession," Williams wrote.

"In truth, this was a travesty not only for Mr. Ricks and his family, but also for Crossroads Bar and Grill and their patrons as well," the attorney added.

News / Prineville / Top Stories

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

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