A 54-year-old Karen immigrant was fatally shot outside his home on St. Paul's East Side Monday night in what his family believes was a robbery attempt.
Htoo Baw was shot as he was retrieving a bag from his car on the 700 block of Orange Avenue E., a daughter said. He was taken to Regions Hospital, where he died.
The shooting occurred around 9:30 p.m., about 18 minutes after another man was shot in the arm a few blocks away, near Rose Avenue E. and Arcade Street, police said. That man was identified by police as Issac O. Maiden, an alleged gang member acquitted in 2013 in the near-fatal beating of Ray Widstrand, also on the city's East Side. Maiden's injury was not life threatening.
Htoo Baw had just returned from Iowa and was retrieving a backpack when he was shot, his 23-year-old daughter Ehgay Poe, said Tuesday.
She said her 13-year-old sister heard the gunshot, went outside and saw a man running away and her father on the ground.
"I think the guy was trying to rob him," she said.
Police have not released many details. As of Tuesday, they could not confirm whether the shootings were connected or whether Htoo Baw was targeted or was a random victim. Police canvassed the neighborhood for much of Tuesday, but made no arrests.
"The investigation goes on," said Sgt. Mike Ernster, a St. Paul police spokesman.
Ehgay Poe said her family, who are members of the Karen community, immigrated to the United States from Thailand almost seven years ago. Her father had not been working and was receiving disability benefits, she said.
Ehgay Poe described her father as a "nice guy," who was quiet and enjoyed spending time with his family. Htoo Baw had three daughters and lived in the East Side home with his wife, children, grandchildren and son-in law.
He also was a member of First Burma Christ Church for about a year, said his pastor Mehm Mya Thi. Htoo Baw had originally immigrated from a refugee camp.
"He's a good person," said the pastor, who visited Htoo Baw's home Tuesday morning to comfort his family.
Ehgay Poe said that the loss of her father made her feel "empty," and that her younger sister had cried all day.
In both shootings Monday, the assailant was on foot when he approached his victims, police said.
Maiden was shot in the 700 block of Rose Avenue E. but did not realize it until he was near the CVS on Maryland Avenue, police said. According to the police report, Maiden was "very uncooperative with officers." He was taken to Regions Hospital to be treated for his injury.