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Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd killed in Atlanta

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Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd, best-known for appearing in several Spike Lee films, was killed in Atlanta on Saturday.  He was 70. 

According to Variety, Byrd was found lying unresponsive by the Atlanta Police Department after they responded to a call about an injured personnel around 1:45 a.m. Saturday morning. He was identified and pronounced dead due to multiple gunshot wounds to the back by emergency medical services.

The Police Department added that the investigation is ongoing and subject to change as homicide detectives work to determine the circumstances surrounding the fatal incident. 

On Sunday, Lee paid tribute to Byrd on Instagram

“I’m so sad to announce the tragic murder of our beloved brother Thomas Jefferson Byrd last night in Atlanta, Georgia…May we all wish condolences and blessings to his family. Rest in peace brother Byrd,” the director penned.

Byrd appeared in Lee’s many of Lee’s films including Chi-RaqSweet Blood of JesusClockersBamboozledRed Hook SummerHe Got Game and Get on the Bus. In addition to his work with Lee, Byrd also appeared in Antoine Fuqua’s Brooklyn’s FinestJamie Foxx’s Ray Charles biopic Ray and F. Gary Gray’s Set It Off.

By Danielle Long
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