Pregnant ex-Miss America contestant's husband, 37, is shot dead

The slain husband of a former Miss America contestant was tragically gunned down in front of his wife and two-year-old son in a rough Alabama neighborhood

his friends and family say - just days after the couple celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary.

Thomas Hand Jr., 37, who considered himself a born-again Christian, 

 was sharing information about Christianity in the Montgomery area on Saturday with his wife and toddler when a man - mumbling - walked up to him and shot him, his friends told

His wife, former Miss Mississippi Christine Kozlowski Hand, 33, confirmed the account in a brief interview with on Wednesday, saying: 'What you said is true

Hand Jr. - a fitness buff and ex-competitive bodybuilder - discovered God in 2018 and soon became infatuated with Christianity.

 He and his wife made it a Saturday tradition to visit low-income areas in Alabama and share religious teachings

Additionally, Lee is the first player in program history to score at least 30 points in a single half; she did so in both halves.

'He tried to spread the word of God, and he was shot,' longtime friend Kevin Rayan told

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