Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd, who had featured in many films by director Spike Lee, died of gunshot wounds here this weekend. He was 70. Byrd died on Saturday "from multiple gunshot wounds to the back", a spokesperson for the Atlanta Police Department said in a statement to eonline.com. Officers responded to a "person injured call" around 1.45 am on Saturday and, upon arrival, the authorities said they found "a male lying unresponsive at the location".
Byrd's death is currently under investigation, the police said. Spike Lee took to Instagram to pay tribute to the late actor, who appeared in his projects such as Chi-Raq, Clockers, Red Hook Summer and He Got Game.
"I'm So Sad To Announce The Tragic Murder Of Our Beloved Brother Thomas Jefferson Byrd Last Night In Atlanta, Georgia," Lee wrote on Instagram.
The director noted the films he worked with the late actor on, and concluded by saying: "May We All Wish Condolences And Blessings To His Family. Rest In Peace Brother Byrd."
Oh no!!! 2020! Whaaattt!!! Loved working with you Byrd. What a fine actor you were. So sorry your life ended this way. Praying for your family. So very sorry.https://t.co/R9YxP4gNW4
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) October 4, 2020
Actress Viola Davis also expressed her grief and said: "Oh no!!! 2020! Whaaattt!!! Loved working with you Byrd. What a fine actor you were. So sorry your life ended this way. Praying for your family. So very sorry."