Thomas Jefferson Byrd passed away in Atlanta, Ga. on Saturday, Oct. 3 "from multiple gunshot wounds to the back," a spokesperson for the Atlanta Police Department said in a statement to E! News.
According to local law enforcement, officers responded to a "person injured call" around 1:45 a.m. EST on Saturday. Upon arrival, authorities said they found "a male lying unresponsive at the location."
An EMS team also responded to the call, and shortly after arriving, they pronounced the male dead. The victim was later identified to be Byrd. He was 70 years old. At this time, it's unclear what the circumstances are surrounding the incident. Per the Atlanta Police Department, Byrd's death is currently under investigation.
Following the news of Byrd's death, Spike Lee took to Instagram to pay tribute to the late actor, who frequently appeared in his projects such as Chi-Raq, Clockers, Red Hook Summer, He Got Game and countless others.
The acclaimed director noted the films he worked with the late actor on, and in closing, Lee shared on final message.
"May We All Wish Condolences And Blessings To His Family. Rest In Peace Brother Byrd," he concluded.
Viola Davis expressed her heartache as well, writing, "Oh no!!! 2020! Whaaattt!!! Loved working with you Byrd. What a fine actor you were. So sorry your life ended this way. Praying for your family. So very sorry."
Comedian Jay Washington also honored the late actor on social media."Rest In Peace to the legendary Thomas Jefferson Byrd seen here with me and the iconic Spike Lee," Washington wrote in part. "I had the honor of working with Mr. Byrd in CHI-RAQ but enjoyed much of his work."