Thomas Jefferson Byrd, an actor who worked frequently with director Spike Lee, has passed away at the age of 70 following a shooting.
Sunday on Instagram, Lee announced the tragic news that Byrd was allegedly murdered Saturday night in Atlanta, Georgia.
“May We All Wish Condolences And Blessings To His Family. Rest In Peace Brother Byrd,” the filmmaker wrote.
View this post on Instagram
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,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.🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜
That afternoon, the Atlanta Police Department told TMZ cops responded to a call of a person injured at 1:45 a.m.
Officials say Byrd was found unresponsive, and emergency medical workers pronounced him dead after they discovered multiple gunshot wounds to his back.
Atlanta police spokesperson Anthony Grant told USA Today that homicide detectives are "working to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.”
Born in Griffin, Georgia, Byrd received a bachelor's degree from Morris Brown College in Atlanta and a master's degree from the California Institute of the Arts.
Throughout his career, Byrd had appeared in a number of Lee’s films, including "Clockers" (1995), "Get on the Bus" (1996), "Girl 6" (1996), "He Got Game" (1998), "Bamboozled" (2000), "Red Hook Summer" (2012), "Da Sweet Blood of Jesus" (2014), and "Chi-Raq" (2015).
Byrd also appeared on the Netflix series “She’s Gotta Have It,” based on Lee’s 1986 film of the same name.
Byrd was nominated for a Tony in 2003 for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his portrayal of Toledo in the Broadway revival of “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.”
This year, Byrd appeared on an episode of the TBS sitcom “The Last O.G.,” and will be seen in the upcoming film “Freedom’s Path.”
Our condolences go out to Thomas’ family and loved ones for their tragic loss.