Spike Lee posted terrible news on his Instagram on Sunday. Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd was murdered in Atlanta.
According to TMZ, homicide detectors are currently investigating after police responded to a call about a man who was injured from multiple gunshot wounds to the back at 1:45 a.m. on Saturday morning. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 70-year-old has been in several Spike Lee joints but has also made a name for himself in the theater. He was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor for a revival of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Spike wrote on an Instagram post, “I am so sad to announce the tragic murder of our beloved brother Thomas Jefferson Byrd last night in Atlanta, Georgia. Tom is my type, you see him down here as the terrifying 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 HAS GAME, GOES ON THE BUS, GIRL 6 AND WATCHES. May we all wish his family condolences and blessings. Rest in peace, brother Byrd. ‘
Honors for the late actor have been recognized in Spike’s comment section.
‘Not T. Byrd. My goodness. He and my mother worked together in stage productions for years. That’s … whew. Such a beautiful person on and off the stage / on the set, ”wrote one follower.
‘Omg so sad to hear the news from our old neighbor, he was always so cute and funny. We got so close to him and his children that I pray hard for Shannon, Kayla, Man Man, and Aria. I’ll never forget the time we spent the night in their house and left the back door open and a raccoon walked into one of the funniest / scariest moments of my life. Take a rest, Mr Byrd, recalled another.
This person wrote, “It’s so sad to hear that this talented black actor was murdered. People have to find a hobby and stop murdering people.”
Ava DuVernay commented, ‘What a powerful actor. The performances he leaves are real gems. Thank you for sharing his talent with us in so many of your films. ‘
Rest in peace to Thomas Byrd.