Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Actor Famed for Work With Spike Lee, Dead at 70 After Shooting
By Zach Seemayer
Thomas Jefferson Bryd, best known for his acting work in films from director Spike Lee, has been killed. Byrd was 70.
A spokesperson for the Atlanta Police Department in Georgia tells ET that officers were dispatched to 2257 Belvedere Ave. after reports of an injured person. Upon arrival, units located a man, who was later identified as Byrd, lying unresponsive at the location.
Emergency medical services arrived and declared Byrd dead on the scene with multiple gunshot wounds to his back. Homicide detectives responded to the scene and are working to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident. The investigation continues at this time.
Following the shocking news of Byrd's death, Lee took to Instagram to share his grief and pay tribute to his longtime collaborator.
"I’m So Sad To Announce The Tragic Murder Of Our Beloved Brother Thomas Jefferson Byrd Last Night In Atlanta, Georgia. Tom Is My Guy," Lee wrote, alongside a black-and-white photo of the late actor on set of the 1995 film Clockers. "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," Lee continued. "May We All Wish Condolences And Blessings To His Family. Rest In Peace Brother Byrd."
Aside from his work with Lee, Byrd also appeared in director Antoine Fuqua's 2010 cop drama Brooklyn's Finest, Warren Beatty's political satire Bulworth, Jamie Foxx's Oscar-winning biopic Ray and F. Gary Gray's acclaimed 1996 heist drama Set It Off.