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Killer of councilman's son sought in city

| Sunday, March 9, 2008

Two years ago, the son of a former Pittsburgh city councilman was shot to death in the Hill District and detectives still hope someone will come forward with the information they need to make an arrest.

Patrice Amilcar "Trice" Howze, 29, was found just after 4 a.m. on Oct. 9, 2005, slumped behind the wheel of a gray Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the 2800 block of Centre Avenue in the Hill District.

The car was running and Howze had been shot three times in the left side of his torso and once in his left elbow. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The car drifted forward when he was shot, stopping at the edge of a wooded area, said Pittsburgh homicide Detective Scott Evans.

Investigators found multiple 9 mm shell casings at the scene and the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office recovered three slugs from Howze's body.

Numerous witnesses reported hearing gunshots and the sound of a car speeding from the area. Other witnesses told police they saw a man wearing dark clothing running from the shooting scene toward Francis Street, Evans said. No one said they saw the actual shooting.

Investigators believe Howze visited a bar that night because his hand was stamped with ink, as some bars and clubs do. Detectives were unable to determine which establishment he visited, however, and couldn't find anyone to help them put together a timeline of the last hours of Howze's life. They have not determined a motive for the slaying.

Howze, son of former Councilman Sala Udin, had a criminal history. For most of the 11 years leading up to his death, he was in jail or on probation. Howze was convicted of 33 criminal counts, mostly for selling narcotics or attempting to escape police. Many times when he was arrested, Howze gave police aliases, bogus addresses and ages, police said.

In April 2005, Howze was caught by police with a stolen .40-caliber Glock handgun and was awaiting trial for that and other charges when he was killed.

Additional Information:

Cold Case Files

Every week, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and local police publish details of unsolved homicides. Anyone with information about the case featured today can call Pittsburgh police at 412-323-7800, or Detectives J.R. Smith and Scott Evans or Sgt. Timothy Westwood at 412-323-7161. Callers can remain anonymous. Anonymous tip sheets are available at city police stations, or can be downloaded online and dropped off at any station.

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