Suspect Arrested In Film Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd Atlanta Murder

Suspect Arrested In Film Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd Atlanta Murder

A 30-year-old man was arrested Friday by Atlanta police in connection with the killing of film actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd.


Suspect Antonio Demetrice Rhynes was arrested in an early-morning raid at an apartment complex, police said. He was booked into the Fulton County Jail. No motive or court date has been revealed.



The 70-year-old Byrd was shot several times in the back on Oct. 3. His body was discovered about 1:45 a.m. at an address southwest of downtown Atlanta, police said.


Byrd had credits in several Spike Lee films, beginning in 1995 with Clockers. He also appeared in Girl 6, He Got Game, and Bamboozled, among other films.


He also appeared in a recent Netflix adaptation of Lee’s 1986 movie, She’s Gotta Have it, the 2004 Ray Charles biopic, Ray, the political satire Bulworth, and the F. Gary Gray movie Set It Off.


“I’m so sad to announce the tragic murder of our beloved brother Thomas Jefferson Byrd last night in Atlanta, Georgia,” Lee wrote on Instagram shortly after his death. “Tom is my guy.”


Agent Craig Wyckoff called Byrd a brilliant actor.


“He usually played pimps, murderers, bad guys, but in real life he was a gentle soul,” Wyckoff said.