Last week, the husband of former Miss Mississippi was fatally shot in front of his 2-year-old child while sharing the gospel with people in Montgomery, Alabama.
Thomas Hand Jr. (37) and Christine Kozlowski Hand (33) were married in 2016 and have a son, Roman (2). The couple announced they that were expecting their second child together just two days before Thomas was shot and killed. Hand also has a child and stepchild from a previous marriage.
It has been reported that Kevin Rayan, a family friend, said that Hand was standing alongside his wife and son and sharing the gospel with a family in a poor neighborhood when a mumbling, shirtless, 17-year-old male walked up to Hand and shot him.
Police say Hand was pronounced dead at the scene, and they have arrested and charged the gunman, Jerimiah Walker, with capital murder. The incident took place on January 22, 2022 around 4:30 PM on the 3100 block of Texas Street in Montgomery, Alabama.
Hand was known as someone who loved fitness and had competed as a bodybuilder. He found God in 2018, loved to study the Bible, and would frequently share the gospel with others in low-income areas in Alabama on Saturdays. He hoped that one day he’d become a preacher.
The family had just moved to Alabama from New Orleans to escape the violence that was growing in their Louisiana suburb.
“Thank you for all of the thoughts and prayers during this time of the passing of my husband Tommy Hand,” Christine wrote. “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. 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 [a] later date release more information to explain everything to everyone.”
Christine’s sister, Danielle Kozlowski, posted on Facebook that she set up a GoFundMe page for those who wanted to help. The funds collected will go into a savings account for Hand’s son and unborn child.
“The funds raised by this account will go toward helping pay for my nephew Roman and the baby’s future expenses,” the page reads. “Any and all funds donated will be appreciated during this tough time for the Hand family. My sister Christine Kozlowski Hand will be the beneficiary for this account.”
Over $59,000 had been raised at the time this article was published. “The Hand Family, as well as The Kozlowski Family thank you all tremendously for the amount of love and support that everyone has shown,” Kozlowski wrote.