Arrest in killing of Spike actor
A man has been charged in the shooting death of Thomas Jefferson Byrd, a popular actor who was gunned down near his home in Atlanta earlier this month.
The 70-year-old victim, who worked with director Spike Lee on multiple films, was found with several gunshot wounds to his back on the morning of Oct. 3, authorities said.
Following an investigation and numerous tips from the public, police on Friday arrested Atlanta resident Antonio Rhynes, 30, and charged him with one count of felony murder. Police have not released any details of the suspect’s alleged involvement.
Byrd’s collaborations with Lee included the films “Bamboozled,” “Clockers,” “Get on the Bus,” “Girl 6,” and “He Got Game,” all of which premiered between 1995 and 2000.
The actor also appeared in several recent movies directed by Lee, including “Chi-Raq” in 2015 and “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus” in 2014.
“We Shared Much Hard Work And Fun Over Our 24 Years Of Doin’ Da DAMN THANG,” the legendary director wrote in an Instagram tribute this week.
“T-Byrd Is My Guy. Many Of The Funniest, Hysterical, And Illest Lines He Skillfully Delivered He Wrote Himself Or — Even Better — Just AD LIBBED On the Spot,” he wrote.
Byrd also portrayed the character of Stokely in the Netflix series “She’s Gotta Have It” and appeared in multiple stage productions over the years.