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2014 American Black Film Festival - Portaits - June 21, 2014

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On Friday Atlanta police made an arrest in the tragic shooting death of Spike Lee films actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd, according to The New York Times.

The suspect, named Antonio Demetrice Rhynes, 30, was arrested and charged with felony murder for the October 3 shooting which took Byrd’s life. An arrest warrant was issued on Wednesday according to Officer Anthony W. Grant, a spokesman for the Atlanta Police Department said in a statement.

“Craig Wyckoff, a friend and former representative of Mr. Byrd’s, said he had spoken with a ‘circle of friends,’ who told him that Mr. Byrd had gotten into an argument with someone at a store and that ‘that person must have followed him home.’ The police had declined to confirm that account,” writes the Times.

Byrd was a talented and respected actor who appeared in film, television and stage plays over the course of his career. Fame director, a close friend and collaborator of Byrd’s announced his death on October 4, one day after the shooting. Prior to Lee’s Instagram post, major outlets had not reported on his passing.

Byrd appeared in six of Lee’s movies including, “Clockers” (1995), “Girl 6” (1996), “Get on the Bus” (1996), “He Got Game” (1998), “Bamboozled” (2000), “Red Hook Summer” (2012), “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus” (2014) and “Chi-Raq” (2015).

He secured a Tony nomination for his role in the  2003 production of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

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