Atlanta police have collared the man who shot dead an actor known for his roles in Spike Lee movies, cops said Friday. Antonio Demetrice Rhynes, 30, was arrested Friday morning and charged with felony murder in the death of Thomas Jefferson Byrd, who was known for his roles in Lee’s flicks “He Got Game,” “Clockers,” and “Ray.”
Cops got a warrant for Rhynes on Wednesday and tracked him down at an apartment complex in southwest Atlanta after the public helped identify the gunman, according to an e-mail from the Atlanta Police Department.
Rhynes will be held in the Fulton County Jail, cops said.
Byrd, 70, was found dead in Atlanta around 1:45 a.m. Oct. 3 after being shot multiple times in the back, according to cops. The motive for his killing is unclear.
Lee praised the actor on social media when Byrd’s death was announced earlier this month.
“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,” Lee wrote.
Byrd was killed on Oct. 3 off of Belvedere Avenue in southwest Atlanta. Police said Byrd was shot in the back multiple times and was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting.
Byrd was born in Griffin, Georgia, and was a resident of southwest Atlanta, according to his obituary. He received a bachelor’s degree from Morris Brown College and a master’s degree from the California Institute of the Arts.
Byrd was known for his roles in many Spike Lee films and was nominated for a Tony Award in 2003 for his performance in the Broadway revival of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
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