Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd has died at the age of 70 after being shot.
Responding to a call about an injured person at a residence in Georgia city, police were dispatched to the home at 1.45am where they found Byrd unresponsive upon arrival.
Emergency services were called to the scene, where they identified the actor and declared him dead from multiple gunshot wounds in the back.
The police department said that homicide detectives were working to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Byrd was a long time collaborator of Lee’s, working with the director on eight films from 1995 to 2015. These included Clockers, Girl 6 and Da Sweet Blood of Jesus.
He was also a renowned theatre actor, earning a Tony nomination in 2003 for his Broadway debut in a revival of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Mourning Byrd with a number of social media posts, Lee wrote on Instagram on Sunday night: “I’m So Sad To Announce The Tragic Murder Of Our Beloved Brother Thomas Jefferson Byrd Last Night In Atlanta, Georgia.
“Tom Is My Guy… May We All Wish Condolences And Blessings To His Family. Rest In Peace Brother Byrd.”