Actor who starred in several Spike Lee movies gunned down in southwest Atlanta, police say

Actor who starred in several Spike Lee movies gunned down in southwest Atlanta, police say
FILE: Actors Thomas Jefferson Byrd McRae poses for a pictures at the rehearsals for the play "Red Herring" which is produced by American Idol finalist Katherine McPhee at The Players Theatre on August 9, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)

ATLANTA — An actor known for his roles in several of Spike Lee’s movies was killed in a shooting over the weekend in southwest Atlanta.

Atlanta police confirmed Sunday that Thomas Byrd was shot several times in the back at a home along Belvedere Avenue. Investigators said he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Byrd starred in several of Lee’s films, including: “Clockers,” “Get on the Bus,” “Bamboozled,” “He Got Game,” “Red Hook Summer,” “Chi-Raq” and more.

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“I’m so sad to announce the tragic murder of our beloved brother Thomas Jefferson Byrd last night in Atlanta, Georgia,” Lee said in a post on his Instagram account. “May we all wish condolences and blessings to his family. Rest in peace brother Byrd.”

Byrd was also an accomplished actor on the stage, earning a Tony nomination in 2003 for Best Actor for August Wilson’s revival of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

Atlanta police say they are still investigating what prompted the shooting. There is no word on any suspects at this time.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.