The husband of a former Miss America contestant was shot and killed in front of the couple’s 2-year-old son in Alabama, authorities said.
On Jan. 20, Thomas Hand Jr., 37, and 33-year-old Christine Kozlowski Hand, who was Miss Mississippi in 2008 and competed in Miss America the following year, celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary and announced they were expecting their second child this summer.
“I never post much but wanted you to know today makes 6 years, happy anniversary Christine I love you very much,” the husband and father wrote in a tribute to his wife on Facebook that day.
“I can’t wait to meet our next baby this summer,” he added, joking, “which is why I didn’t purchase you anything as I have already given you a gift.”
Two days later, Thomas Hand was dead.
According to Montgomery police, on Jan. 22 officers responded to reports of a person shot at a home about 4:30 p.m. and arrested Jerimiah Walker, 17, after they found the victim dead from a gunshot wound in the street.
Walker faces a capital murder charge. The teenager was being held in the Montgomery County Detention Center without bond.
Christine Kozlowski Hand confirmed her husband’s death on social media the next day and thanked supporters for their thoughts and prayers.
“I feel the love and support from everyone and just wanted to let everyone know that indeed Tommy was shot and killed last night on Texas Street in Montgomery AL,” she wrote. “I appreciate and welcome all of the messages, I’m just overwhelmed with all the questions and retelling of the details of what happened.”
The investigation into the deadly incident continues, and police have not disclosed a possible motive for the shooting.