- Associated Press - Sunday, October 11, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Friends and family have celebrated the life of a 54-year-old Karen immigrant who escaped his war-torn homeland of Myanmar and then a Thai refugee camp only to be gunned down in front of his St. Paul home.

The Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1jXxZr4 ) reported that more than 100 family members and friends gathered Saturday to mourn Htoo Baw’s death. Baw was fatally shot Monday night as he unloaded his car after a road trip.

Baw thought he’d finally found safety and opportunity when his family arrived in St. Paul seven years ago. “He wanted his daughters to come here to have an education,” said daughter Ehgay Poe, 23.

Mourners said prayers and sang hymns in Baw’s honor. His wife, Annita Thaw, and Poe shared his life story.

The son of farmers, Baw was born in Burma, now known as Myanmar. A member of the Karen ethnic minority, he fled the civil war that long has rocked that country. He met his wife in a Thai refugee camp, and they have three daughters, ages 15, 23 and 29.

After immigrating to the U.S., his wife and children stayed in St. Paul while Baw worked at a meatpacking plant in southern Iowa.

Baw was injured in a car accident around 2010 and received disability benefits. He doted on his children and grandchildren, waking up every morning to cook the family meal.

“I feel proud. He is the best father. He didn’t complain,” Poe said.

St. Paul police continue to investigate the shooting and a second one in the neighborhood the same night that wounded a man in the arm.

Officers canvassed the neighborhood the day after the shootings, but there have been no arrests, St. Paul Police Cmdr. Steve Frazer said.

Poe said the neighborhood felt safe but there were two instances when rocks were thrown through windows at the house.

“After this we don’t feel safe. We are going to move,” Poe said.


Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com

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