Thomas Jefferson Byrd

Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Actor in Spike Lee's Films, Killed in Atlanta

Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd died in Atlanta on Saturday after being shot multiple times

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Hollywood has lost a star.

Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd died in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday "from multiple gunshot wounds to the back," a spokesperson for the Atlanta Police Department said in a statement to E! News.

According to local law enforcement, officers responded to a "person injured call" around 1:45 a.m. EST on Saturday. Upon arrival, authorities said they found "a male lying unresponsive at the location."

An EMS team also responded to the call, and shortly after arriving, they pronounced the male dead. The victim was later identified to be Byrd. He was 70 years old. At this time, it's unclear what the circumstances are surrounding the incident. Byrd's death is currently under investigation.

Following the news of Byrd's death, Spike Lee took to Instagram to pay tribute to the late actor, who frequently appeared in his projects such as "Chi-Raq," "Clockers," "Red Hook Summer," "He Got Game" and countless others.

Celebrity Deaths: 2020's Fallen Stars

"I'm So Sad To Announce The Tragic Murder Of Our Beloved Brother Thomas Jefferson Byrd Last Night In Atlanta, Georgia," Lee began his Instagram post on Sunday. "Tom Is My Guy."

The acclaimed director noted the films he worked with the late actor on, and in closing, Lee shared a final message.

"May We All Wish Condolences And Blessings To His Family. Rest In Peace Brother Byrd," he concluded.

Viola Davis expressed her heartache as well, writing, "Oh no!!! 2020! Whaaattt!!! Loved working with you Byrd. What a fine actor you were. So sorry your life ended this way. Praying for your family. So very sorry."

Comedian Jay Washington also honored the late actor on social media.

"Rest In Peace to the legendary Thomas Jefferson Byrd seen here with me and the iconic Spike Lee," Washington wrote in part. "I had the honor of working with Mr. Byrd in CHI-RAQ but enjoyed much of his work."

Reporting by Spencer Lubitz.

Copyright E! Online
Contact Us