Man Arrested for Murder of Spike Lee Films Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd

Lawrence Kim
October 17, 2020

According to Spike Lee, Thomas Jefferson Byrd-an actor who has appeared in numerous films by Lee, was murdered in Atlanta.

According to police, homicide detectives followed up on evidence and tips from citizens to identify Rhynes as a suspect.

The 70-year-old Byrd had been shot several times in the back when he was found at about 1:45 a.m. on October 3 at an address southwest of downtown, Atlanta police said.

While no suspect was initially named, authorities have now confirmed that an individual by the name of Antonio Demetrice Rhynes was arrested in relation to Byrd's death and booked into Fulton County Jail.

It is not clear whether Rhynes has retained an attorney at this time. The actor was found responsive after multiple gunshot wounds to the back. A $10,000 reward had been offered for information leading to an arrest.

Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd appears during a portrait session in Atlanta in 2008
Man Arrested for Murder of Spike Lee Films Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd

Byrd appeared in six of Lee's movies including, "Clockers" (1995), "Girl 6" (1996), "Get on the Bus" (1996), "He Got Game" (1998), "Bamboozled" (2000), "Red Hook Summer" (2012), "Da Sweet Blood of Jesus" (2014) and "Chi-Raq" (2015).

Earlier in the month, Atlanta police shared that there was surveillance footage showing the actor leaving a local store near his home, the day he was murdered. Prior to Lee's Instagram post, major outlets had not reported on his passing. Tom Is My Guy, Here Below You See Him As The Frightening Character Errol Barnes In CLOCKERS.

"May we all wish condolences and blessings to his family", Lee wrote. "Rest In Peace Brother Byrd".

Byrd was born in Griffin, Georgia, in 1950.

His final role was as Abner in the Civil War drama 'Freedom's Path, ' which is scheduled to be released later this year.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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