Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd dead: Spike Lee actor mystery Atlanta shooting. African American actor shot multiple times, motive unknown. Life mirroring art?
Authorities arrived at the scene of his murder on Saturday around 1:45 a.m. after a call came in about an injured person who was unresponsive and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to his back. Emergency medical services then pronounced Bryd dead.
Detectives are investigating the incident, with the APD that any information they have is exploratory at the moment and could change as new evidence comes to light, Variety reported.
Byrd, 70, was born in Griffin, south of Atlanta, according to IMDb. He received a bachelor’s degree from Morris Brown College in Atlanta and a master’s degree from the California Institute of the Arts.
Byrd had been a stage actor, according to IMDb. As a film actor, Byrd worked with director Spike Lee on many projects including Clockers, Get on the Bus, Bamboozled, Chi-Raq, Red Hook Summer, Girl 6, and Da Sweet Blood of Jesus. Byrd was also in Antoine Fuqua’s Brooklyn’s Finest, Jamie Foxx’s Ray Charles biopic, Ray, and F. Gary Gray’s Set It Off.
Lee honored Byrd’s life on Instagram on Sunday.
‘I’m so sad to announce the tragic murder of our beloved brother Thomas Jefferson Byrd last night in Atlanta, Georgia,’ Lee wrote. ‘Tom is my guy. Here below you see him as the frightening character Errol Barnes in CLOCKERS. Brother Byrd also did his thang in my joints — CHI-RAQ, SWEET BLOOD OF JESUS, RED HOOK SUMMER, BAMBOOZLED, HE GOT GAME, GET ON THE BUS, GIRL 6 and CLOCKERS. May we all wish condolences and blessings to his family. Rest in peace brother Byrd.’
It remained unclear how or why the actor came to be shot dead.