Thursday, January 21, 2021

Spike Lee Announces Murder of Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd in Atlanta Overnight

Thomas Jefferson Byrd - Getty
Thomas Jefferson Byrd – Getty

*Spike Lee took to social media earlier today to announce the murder of Thomas Jefferson Byrd, an Atlanta-based actor who had appeared in multiple films by the director.

“I’m So Sad To Announce The Tragic Murder Of Our Beloved Brother Thomas Jefferson Byrd Last Night In Atlanta, Georgia,” Lee said in a post

The famed director also shared a photo of Byrd as the character Errol Barnes in his 1995 film, “Clockers.”

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This Is The Introduction Scene Of Thomas Jefferson Byrd’s Dope Fiend Character Errol Barnes In CLOCKERS With Strike

A post shared by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on

TMZ took it from there and reached out to the Atlanta Police Department and found out that cops responded to a call of a person injured at 1:45 AM Saturday. Byrd was found unresponsive, and emergency medical workers pronounced him dead from multiple gunshot wounds to the back.

As for more info, all we know is that ATP PD homicide detectives are investigating.

Byrd grew up in Griffin, Georgia, according to Film Reference, and got his bachelor’s degree in education in Atlanta at the historically Black college Morris Brown College. He later got a masters degree in dance as well, at the California Institute of the Arts. He went on to an acclaimed career in theater, which ran concurrent to his career in cinema, reports PopCulture.com.

Most of Byrd’s on-screen work was with Lee. However, he had a handful of TV roles, including his first credited role as Louis Arthur on the series “In the Heat of the Night” back in 1993. Byrd later appeared in Mama Flora’s Family, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and, most recently, She’s Gotta Have It.

Along with Spike Lee’s “Clockers,” Byrd also appeared in Lee’s “Get on the Bus,” “Bamboozled,” “He Got Game,” “Red Hook Summer,” “Chi-Raq” and more.

He was also a successful theater actor, nominated for Broadway’s 2003 Tony Award as Best Actor for a revival of August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

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