Thomas Jefferson Byrd, an actor best known for appearing in multiple Spike Lee films was found dead in an apparent shooting, the director confirmed on Sunday.
Fox News reports that 70-year-old Thomas Jefferson Byrd was murdered in Atlanta. In a statement given to the news platform, the Atlanta Police department said that officers were dispatched at 1:45 AM on Saturday (October 4) and “located a male lying unresponsive at the location.”
The actor was pronounced dead from multiple gunshot wounds to the back.
"Homicide detectives responded to the scene and are working to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident,” the statement continues. The investigation continues at this time."
Byrd was a highly-talented, Tony award-nominated actor who received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in education at Morris Brown College and then later received a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance at the California Institute of the Arts. For three decades, he starred in nearly two dozen films such as Set It Off, Ray, and Brooklyn’s Finest.
Earlier today, Lee took to Instagram to honor the late actor who was an integral figure in some of the director’s hit films like He Got Game, Red Hook Summer, and Clockers. "I’m So Sad To Announce The Tragic Murder Of Our Beloved Brother Thomas Jefferson Byrd Last Night In Atlanta,Georgia," He wrote. "Tom Is My Guy."
"May We All Wish Condolences And Blessings To His Family. Rest In Peace Brother Byrd," he continued.
Byrd’s death is currently under investigation.
(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)