Atlanta police on Friday arrested a 30-year-old man suspected of killing actor Thomas Jefferson Bird, who appeared in several Spike Lee movies, officials said.
Antonio Demetris Rines was arrested during a morning raid on a residential complex and is being held in Fulton County Jail, authorities said.
It was not immediately clear whether Rhine had a lawyer or when he would make his first appearance in court, an Atlanta police spokesman said.
Bird, 70, was shot several times in the back when he was found at about 1:45 a.m. on Oct. 3 at an address southwest of downtown, Atlanta police said.
His credits in Lee’s films span decades, beginning in 1995 with Clockers. He also appeared in “Girl 6”, “He Has a Game”, “Bamboozled” and other notable films.
The veteran actor appeared in a recent Netflix adaptation of Lee’s 1986 film “She Must Have It.”
“I am so sad to report the tragic murder of our beloved brother Thomas Jefferson Bird last night in Atlanta, Georgia,” Lee wrote on Instagram shortly after his death. “Tom is my man.”
Byrd’s former agent, Craig Wykoff, called him a brilliant actor whose roles on screen were at odds with his personality.
“He usually played pimps, killers, bad boys, but in real life he was a gentle soul,” Wykoff said.
Actor Wendell Pierce compares Bird’s relationship with Lee to actor Joseph Cotton and director Orson Welles, who starred as Cotton in Citizen Kane and other films in the early 1940s.
Bird was the actor of “every man,” Pierce said.
Bird also appeared in Ray Charles’ 2004 biopic Ray, political satire Bullworth, and F. Gary Gray’s Set It Off.