Police arrest suspect for murder of actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd

Thomas Jefferson Byrd

The Atlanta Police Department has arrested and charged a suspect in the murder of veteran actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd.

Following up on evidence and tips from residents, Antonio Demetrice Rhynes, 30, of Atlanta was arrested in the early morning hours of Oct. 16 by the APD Fugitive Unit and SWAT Team. Rhynes was arrested without incident at the Royal Oaks Apartments on North Camp Creek Parkway in South Fulton County. He’s now in the Fulton County Jail charged with felony murder.

Asked whether a motive in the homicide has been established, APD spokesman Officer Steve Avery commented via email “nothing at this time.”

Rhynes has been arrested numerous times by APD on charges ranging from armed robbery and aggravated assault to burglary and carjacking.

Byrd, best known for his work in Spike Lee’s films, was fatally shot on Oct. 3. Around 1:45 a.m., officers responded to an injured person call at 2257 Belvedere Ave. and found Byrd, 70,  unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene with multiple gunshot wounds to the back.

Byrd, a Griffin, Georgia native, appeared in many of Lee’s  films like “Clockers,” “He Got Game” and “She’s Gotta Have It.” He also had roles in “Set It Off” and “Ray.”

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