Zin Min Htet would do anything to help his friends.
“No matter how much financial difficulty he was in, he helped his friends with money or anything else. He had a good soul. He was always smiling,” his friend Ko Sai told the BBC.
Moments before he was shot dead on 8 March, the 24-year-old was at the frontline of an anti-coup protest armed with nothing but a shield, trying to protect other protesters.
His mother Daw Ohn Ma rushed to the hospital when she heard he had been shot.
“I wanted to hear his last words, calling me mother. I didn’t. There was blood everywhere. I couldn’t bear to look at him. He was pale and cold and had already lost a lot of blood,” she told the BBC.
“What could I say? It was cruel and ruthless.
“All I knew was that I had to bring his body back home as soon as I could.”
Zin Min Htet – who had been training as a goldsmith for three years – was her youngest child and only son.
She recalls that he had promised her he would buy her a house as soon as he made enough money.
“He had a happy-go-lucky attitude, and never annoyed or made me sad. He loved my cooking so much, he refused to eat anything else and would often invite his friends home for dinner.”
On the day he died, Zin Min Htet had told his mother he was going to work. He lied because she had been trying to stop him from joining the protests just the night before.
But she said he at least died doing what he wanted.
Video of Ko Zin Min Htet being shot while he was at the front defense team of the protest. video: Kachin Wave
Previously known as Tabinshwehti road, where Zaw Min Htet was shot dead, is now named as Zaw Min Htet (B) Phoe Lone road by the Generation Z. Photo: Myitkyina News Journal