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Ex-Miss America contestant's husband shot dead in front of toddler, wife

Thomas Hand Jr. was shot dead in front of his wife and child in Montgomery, Alabama.

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Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver BC
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Thomas Hand Jr. was shot dead Saturday in front of his wife, former Miss America contestant Christine Kozlowski, and child in Montgomery, Alabama.

Following the body-builder husband's killing, an investigation has been launched to uncover a possible motive for the attack, which first appeared to be random.

On the evening of Jan. 22, police in Montgomery responded to reports of a shooting. The 37-year-old victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hand was shot in front of his pregnant wife and their two-year-old toddler as they walked around the neighborhood. According to The Daily Mail, Hand, a born-again Christian, liked to spend Saturday evenings with his young family going to different areas of town to spread the word of God.

Hand, who was crowned "Mr. New Orleans" in 2010, had recently moved from Louisiana to escape crime, which ran rampant in his former neighborhood.

On Sunday, Hand's wife put out a statement on Facebook in which she thanked everyone for their kind words following her husband's death.

Just two days before Hand's slaying, he and and his wife had celebrated their sixth anniversary, and were months away from the birth of their second child.

Crime has been on the rise in Montgomery as of late. As WFSA reports, Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey suggested on Monday that the city was "under siege."

According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Hand's suspected killer, 17-year-old Jeremiah Walker, was taken into custody on charges of capital murder and is currently being held at the Montgomery County Detention Facility.

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