Suspect Arrested in Fatal Shooting of Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Police Say

Thomas Jefferson Byrd (Courtesy of Variance Films)

An Atlanta man has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd, the Atlanta Police Department said.

Antonio Demetrice Rhynes, 30, was taken into custody early Friday morning during a joint operation between the APD’s fugitive, SWAT, and homicide units, police said in a statement.

Detectives were able to track Rhynes down after receiving “evidence and tips from citizens.” He was arrested “without incident” at an apartment building on North Camp Creek Parkway and transported to the Fulton County Jail.

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The police department posted drone video on its Facebook page that showed Rhynes walking out of a room in the apartment with his hands up before he was apprehended. He is facing a felony murder charge.

Byrd was shot multiple times in the back on Saturday, Oct. 3. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police have not given details on a motive in the case.

The actor was known for his work with director Spike Lee in He Got Game, Get on the Bus, Clockers, Sweet Blood of Jesus, Red Hook Summer, Bamboozled and Chi-Raq.

Byrd was born in Griffin, Georgia in 1941. He earned a bachelor of science degree in education from Morris Brown College and later received a master of fine arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts.