Thomas Jefferson Byrd, a Tony-nominated actor also known for roles in different Spike Lee movies, was found shot to death on Atlanta Street, authorities said on Sunday.
Mr. Byrd was found “unresponsive” by Atlanta police officers, who responded at 1:45 a.m. to a call about an injured person. Saturday, said Anthony Grant, a police spokesman. Mr. Byrd was pronounced dead, Mr. Grant said, with multiple gunshot wounds to the back.
On Sunday, Mr. Byrd’s friend and former representative, Craig Wyckoff, said that he had spoken with a “circle of friends” who said that Mr. Byrd had gotten into an argument at a store with someone and that “that person must have followed him home.” The police said the case was under investigation and refused to confirm that account.
Mr. Lee said he was “So Sad to Announce The Horrific Murder Of Our Beloved Brother” in a series of posts on Instagram and highlighted the roles of Mr. Byrd in films such as” Clockers “(1995),” Chi-Raq “(2015) and” Bamboozled “(2000).
“Brother Byrd’s Rest In Peace,” Mr. Lee wrote.
In the 1996 film “Set It Off,” Mr. Byrd also starred and was nominated for a 2003 Tony Award for his appearance in August Wilson’s Broadway revival of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” (A television adaptation is coming to Netflix, starring
Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman, who died in August.)
Ms. Davis wrote in a tweet on Sunday “Loved working with you Byrd, What a fine actor you were. So sorry your life ended this way.”