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Spike Lee is paying tribute to late actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd, who starred in a myriad of the director’s films including Clockers, He Got Game and Red Hook Summer.
Lee took to Instagram Sunday to reveal that Byrd was murdered Saturday night in Atlanta. In his post, Lee shared a photo of Thomas as the character Errol Barnes in his 1995 film, Clockers.
“I’m So Sad To Announce The Tragic Murder Of Our Beloved Brother Thomas Jefferson Byrd Last Night In Atlanta,Georgia,” Lee wrote. “Tom Is My Guy.”
Lee shared that Byrd starred in a variety of his films including Chi-Raq, Clockers, Sweet Blood of Jesus, Red Hook Summer, Bamboozled, He Got Game, Get on the Bus and Girl 6.
“May We All Wish Condolences And Blessings To His Family. Rest In Peace Brother Byrd,” Lee said.
Though Lee did not give any more details into Byrd’s death, the director continued to honor the actor by sharing footage of Byrd from Clockers, in which Lee says the actor portrayed “Dope Fiend Character Errol Barnes.” He also shared a video of Byrd in what he called one of his favorite scenes in Clockers.
The director has created a GoFundMe page to help Byrd’s children.
Apart from Lee’s film’s, Byrd was also nominated for a best actor Tony Award in 2003 for a revival of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Following Lee’s tribute, stand-up comic Jay Washington also took to social media to remember the late actor and said he had “the honor of working with Mr. Byrd on Chi-Raq.” “Rest in pease to the legendary Thomas Jefferson Byrd,” he wrote alongside a photo of him with Lee and Byrd.
The Atlanta Police Department told The Hollywood Reporter that officers were dispatched around 1:45 a.m. on Saturday to 2257 Belvedere Avenue on a report of a person injured. “Upon arrival, units located a male lying unresponsive at the location. Grady EMS responded to the scene and pronounced the male deceased from multiple gunshot wounds to the back. The victim was later identified as Thomas Byrd,” the department stated.
Byrd’s death is under investigation with homicide detectives working to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident, the Atlanta Police Department tells THR. Officials also say that information is preliminary in nature and could change as the investigation progresses.
View this post on Instagram
I’m So Sad To Announce The Tragic Murder Of Our Beloved Brother Thomas Jefferson Byrd Last Night In Atlanta,Georgia. Tom Is My Guy,Here Below You See Him As The Frightening 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 GOT GAME,GET ON THE BUS,GIRL 6 And CLOCKERS. May We All Wish Condolences And Blessings To His Family. Rest In Peace Brother Byrd.
A post shared by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on
Oct. 4, 1:31 p.m. Updated with Atlanta Police Department statement.
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