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Atlanta PD

An Atlanta man has been charged in the fatal shooting of actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd earlier this month.

The 70-year-old actor was found unresponsive with multiple gunshot wounds to the back. He was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital.

The shooting stemmed from an argument near the actor's home on Belvedere Avenue about 1:45 a.m. on Oct. 4.

Officers recovered spent rifle rounds not far from Byrd's body, police said.

Tips from the public assisted investigators in apprehending the suspect, 30-year-old Antonio Demetrice Rhynes.

Warrants were issued for his arrest and he was taken into custody without resistance early Friday morning at the Royal Oaks Apartments in Camp Creek.

The Atlanta Police Department released drone footage that showed the suspect surrendering to police after his apartment door was blown off the hinges.
 

Rhynes was booked into the Fulton County Jail, and his mugshot was released to the news media.

According to the AJC.com, Rhynes has a criminal history that includes armed robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and hijacking a motor vehicle, among others.

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Character actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd was shot to death in southwest Atlanta early Saturday. He was 70.

Byrd was known for his roles in Spike Lee films including Clockers, He Got Game, and Chi-Raq.

Atlanta Police responded to a call of shots fired on the 2200 block of Belvedere Avenue about 1:45 a.m. Saturday, AJC.com reported.

The actor was found unresponsive with multiple gunshot wounds to the back. He was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital. Police are still investigating.

Byrd, who was born in Griffin, Ga., received a bachelor's degree in education at Morris Brown College before studying dance at the California Institute of the Arts, according to the AJC.

Byrd is best known for his role as Luther, the janitorial manager, in the bank heist drama film Set It Off (1997).

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Spike Lee, who employed Byrd in several of his films, announced the actor's death on social media on Sunday.

"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, 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. [praying hands emoji]"