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Man jailed for killing Thomas Byrd, who starred in Spike Lee films

(Photo source: Fulton County Jail)

Atlanta police have arrested a man in connection with the murder of actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Byrd, 70, was reportedly found dead on Oct. 3 shortly after midnight. Atlanta police discovered Byrd with multiple gunshots in the back. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Following up on tips, Atlanta police arrested 30-year-old Antonio Demetrice Rhynes on Oct. 16 at the Royal Oaks Apartments near North Camp Creek Parkway.

Rhynes has been previously arrested for armed robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, and hijacking a motor vehicle, among others.

Byrd had several scene-stealing roles in films such as Set It Off, Brooklyn’s Finest and Ray. During his career, which began in 1992 with a role in the TV series “In the Heat of the Night,” Byrd stood out in multiple films directed by Spike Lee.

Starting with Clockers in 1995, Byrd appeared in Lee films such as Get on the Bus, Bamboozled, Chi-Raq, Red Hook Summer, Girl 6, and Da Sweet Blood of Jesus.