The husband of a former Miss Mississippi winner was gunned down on Saturday, Jan. 22, at an Alabama street, with police officers saying that the man was killed in front of their two-year-old child.

Thirty-seven-year-old Thomas Hand, Jr. was shot and killed in Montgomery, Alabama, with the 17-year-old alleged suspect Jerimiah Walker arrested and charged with the capital murder, according to the New York Post.

Hand, who was a born-again Christian, was reportedly evangelizing with his son in Walker’s neighborhood when he was shot while standing in the suspect's yard. A motivation regarding the sudden killing has not yet been publicized by the police, The Daily Beast reported.

Hand’s wife, 33-year-old former Miss America candidate Christine Kozlowski, expressed sorrow at the death of her husband, especially as they are reportedly expecting another child soon.

“I appreciate and welcome all of the messages, I’m just overwhelmed with all the questions and retelling of the details of what happened. I will at later date release more information to explain everything to everyone,” Kozlowski said.

Kozlowski’s husband ran a nutritional supplement company, Hand Nutrition, that Kozlowski said will be relocated to Mississippi due to her husband’s death.

“[The] company will continue to serve you guys and we ask that you stick with us as this will be our only means of support for our son and baby to be. We need your support now more than ever. We love you guys, the company will relocate to my hometown of Biloxi, Mississippi,” she said in an online statement.

As Montgomery police continue to investigate the murder, which Kozlowski is calling a “random act of violence,” Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl D. Bailey expressed disgust at the rising crime rate of the Alabama city.

“We’ve got to start sending messages that this behavior is not tolerated,” he said.

Walker has not been allowed to post bond for the crime, and it is not known if he has a lawyer to represent him.

The husband of former Miss Mississippi winner Christine Kozlowski was shot and killed in Alabama on Saturday while he was reportedly going door-to-door evangelizing for his church. This is a representational image. Ben White/Unsplash.

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