Thomas Jefferson Byrd, actor in Spike Lee films, shot dead in Atlanta
The actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd, known for his roles in Spike Lee films, has been shot and killed in Atlanta, police have said.
Officers responded to a call at about 1.45am on Sunday and found the 70-year-old unresponsive with multiple gunshot wounds in his back, police spokesman Anthony Grant said in a statement.
Paramedics pronounced Byrd dead at the scene on the city’s south-west side, where he lived.
Grant said homicide detectives were working to determine the circumstances surrounding the shooting and declined to provide further details.
In an Instagram post on Monday, Lee said he was sad to announce Byrd’s death and recalled how the actor “did his thang” in his films including Clockers Chi-Raq, Bamboozled, He Got Game and
Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, among others.
“May we all wish condolences and blessings to his family,” Lee wrote. “Rest in peace, Brother Byrd.”
He also shared some of his favourite scenes with Byrd from Clockers and Bamboozled.
Byrd, also a stage actor, was nominated in 2003 for a Tony for his performance in the Broadway revival of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Thomas Jefferson Byrd