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18-year-old North Hills High School grad dies after shooting outside Strip District bar

PITTSBURGH — A local teenager died after he was shot in Pittsburgh’s Strip District on Sunday night, police said Monday morning.

The man, Ahmir Tuli, 18, was shot in the head shortly after 9 p.m. on Penn Avenue, outside Preeti’s Pitt and across from Pittsburgh Winery, police said.

Officers helped Tuli until paramedics arrived. Tuli was then taken to a hospital in critical condition, but later died.

Police have issued an arrest warrant for a suspect, 45-year-old Howard Hawkins, who also goes by Mark McClendon.

Someone who was working security at Preeti’s Pitt told police Hawkins was asked to leave the bar after getting into an argument, according to a criminal complaint. He allegedly came back and shot Tuli, who was outside the bar at the time of the shooting.

Charges against Hawkins include homicide and carrying a firearm without a license.

Police had Penn Avenue closed between 27th and 28th streets for about two hours as they investigated.

Tuli’s friends told Channel 11 he worked at Preeti’s Pitt with his mother, who owns the business. Tuli had just graduated from North Hills High School in 2020.

Outside the restaurant are now Teddy bears, bouquets of flowers and a candle as a memorial for Tuli.

Portia Foxx, a DJ at WAMO, held weekly events at Preeti’s and got to know Tuli and his mom. She said it was devastating to hear what happened.

“I broke down in tears on the radio, and I can’t stop the tears from coming because to know ‘Mir, even in passing, he definitely was a really sweet kid,” Foxx said.

North Hills High School officials told Channel 11 their thoughts are with his family and friends.

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