The husband of former Miss America contestant Christine Kozlowski Hand was shot dead in Alabama last week – just two days after the couple announced they were expecting a second child, according to reports.
Tommy Hand, 37, was fatally shot around 4:30 p.m. Saturday in Montgomery and was promptly pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
What triggered the shooting was not immediately clear.
A suspect, identified as 17-year-old Jeremiah Walker, was later arrested and charged with capital murder, according to Montgomery police.
The shooting took place in front of the couple’s son, Roman, according to The Sun.
Christine, 33 – who represented Mississippi in the 2009 Las Vegas pageant after winning the state title in 2008 – and Tommy Hand, already parents to a 2-year-old boy, had just announced on social media that they were expecting another child in August.
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“Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers during this time of my husband Tommy Hand’s passing. I feel everyone’s love and support,” Christine wrote on Facebook on Sunday.
Derek Arnoult, who was friends with Tommy, said the tragedy was “difficult to understand”.
“It’s a blow but this man preached the word [with] his heart and soul,” Arnoult told Fox News Digital. “It was an honor to know him. He helped me through the dark times and the good times. He was definitely heaven sent.”
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Tommy was a former competitive bodybuilder who won a Mr. New Orleans title and ran a nutrition business.
“I started this company so I could use my own products to be sure what I put in my body,” he wrote in Hand Nutrition’s mission statement. “Train hard and live healthy.”
During the Miss America pageant in 2009, Christine Hand won the swimsuit contest, according to a press release from her then-university, the University of Southern Mississippi.
Like her husband, she also runs a nutrition company called MSMS Nutrition.
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On Sunday, Christine thanked the “loyal and cherished customers” of her husband’s business, saying the business would move to her hometown of Biloxi, Mississippi.
“We ask that you stay with us as this will be our only means of support for our son and baby,” she wrote. “We need your support now more than ever.”