Atlanta cops make arrest in actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd’s shooting death


Atlanta police have made an arrest in the fatal shooting of actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd.

Homicide detectives on Wednesday obtained a warrant for the arrest of 30-year-old Antonio Demetrice Rhynes on a felony murder charge based on evidence and tips from the public, and officers arrested him early Friday morning, Officer Steve Avery said in an email.

Rhynes will be taken to the Fulton County jail once he’s processed, Avery said. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could comment on his arrest.

Police declined to release any further information, saying the investigation remains open and active.

COPS OFFERING $10G REWARD IN ACTOR THOMAS JEFFERSON BYRD’S SHOOTING DEATH AS SEARCH FOR SUSPECT CONTINUES

In drone footage of the arrest released by Atlanta police, the camera enters a second-floor apartment with a damaged front door. It moves through the living room and kitchen and then turns toward a short hallway.

Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd poses for a portrait at the 2014 American Black Film Festival at the Metropolitan Pavillion on June 21, 2014 in New York City. He died at the age of 70 in Atlanta, Ga.

Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd poses for a portrait at the 2014 American Black Film Festival at the Metropolitan Pavillion on June 21, 2014 in New York City. He died at the age of 70 in Atlanta, Ga.
(Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

A man is seen poking his head out of a doorway and he raises a hand while saying something that can’t be heard on the video, according to the footage. He is seen withdrawing into the doorway and then emerges a few seconds later wearing red shorts with white stars and no shirt and with both hands in the air. As seen on the footage, he then puts his hands behind his head and walks out of the apartment where he again raises both hands.

ACTOR THOMAS JEFFERSON BYRD DEAD AT 70 IN APPARENT SHOOTING

Best-known for his roles in Spike Lee films, Byrd was found dead around 1:45 a.m. on Saturday on the city’s southwest side. He had been shot multiple times in the back. A $10,000 reward had been offered for information leading to an arrest.

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Byrd acted in films including “Clockers,” “Chi-Raq,” “Bamboozled,” “He Got Game” and “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus.” Also a stage actor, Byrd was nominated in 2003 for a Tony award for his performance in the Broadway revival of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” co-starring Whoopi Goldberg and Charles S. Dutton.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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