Arkansas police are searching for two men who shot and killed a Salvation Army major Christmas Eve outside the organization’s community center in North Little Rock as his three young children looked on.

Pulaski County Coroner Garland Camper said two men accosted Philip Wise and his children — ages, 4, 6 and 8 — about 4 p.m. Thursday. He says one man pulled a gun, demanded money and then shot Wise.

Wise's wife, Cindy, also a major in the Salvation Army, was inside the center and called 911.

North Little Rock Police Sgt. Terry Kuykendall calls the shooting a tragedy for the community. Wise had worked in the neighborhood for years, helping run youth programs, a food pantry and church services.

According to Arkansas Online, the 40-year-old father has been a member of the charitable organization for 16 years

Friends and colleagues mourned Wise’s death, describing him as an “all-around good guy” and “a big teddy bear who loved sports.”

The Salvation Army told the Arkansas Democrat Gazette that any donations made in Wise’s name will go toward a music program at the organization’s summer camp.

Click here to read more from Arkansas Online.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.