Atlanta SWAT team sends a DRONE into an apartment to force out man, 30, who is charged with the murder of Spike Lee movie actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd

 Atlanta police used a drone to force the man  suspected in the shooting dead actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd out of his house so that they could arrest him.

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. 

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. 

Footage of the arrest was shared by the Atlanta Police Department, who noted the arrest was conducted by its Fugitive, SWAT and Homicide Units. 


In the footage, the camera enters a second-floor apartment on Camp Creek Parkway with a damaged front door.


The police drone footage showed the front door of the suspect's apartment after it sustained damage

The police drone footage showed the front door of the suspect's apartment after it sustained damage 

The drone moves through the living room and kitchen and then turns toward a short hallway.

A man, identified as Rhynes, pokes his head out of a doorway and raises a hand while saying something that can't be heard on the video. 

Rhynes withdraws into the room and then emerges a few seconds later wearing red shorts with white stars and no shirt and with both hands in the air. 

He then puts his hands behind his head and walks out of the apartment where he again raises both hands.       

Atlanta authoritiies used a police drone to enter the second-floor apartment of Antonio Demetrice Rhynes (pictured), who exited a room with both hands in the air

Atlanta authoritiies used a police drone to enter the second-floor apartment of Antonio Demetrice Rhynes (pictured), who exited a room with both hands in the air

Neither a motive for the shooting, nor the relationship between the two men have been revealed. Pictured: Rhynes exiting his apartment after police deployed a drone into his home

Neither a motive for the shooting, nor the relationship between the two men have been revealed. Pictured: Rhynes exiting his apartment after police deployed a drone into his home 

A $10,000 reward had been offered for information leading to an arrest in Byrd's shooting death

A $10,000 reward had been offered for information leading to an arrest in Byrd's shooting death

Best known for his roles in Spike Lee films, Byrd was found dead around 1.45am on October 3 near his home in southwest Atlanta. He had been shot multiple times in the back. 

A $10,000 reward had been offered for information leading to an arrest.

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. 

Earlier in the month, Atlanta police shared that there was surveillance footage showing the actor leaving a local store near his home, the day he was murdered.


Best known for his roles in Spike Lee films, Byrd was found dead around 1.45am on October 3

Best known for his roles in Spike Lee films, Byrd was found dead around 1.45am on October 3 

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, investigators said Byrd was walking home when Rhynes allegedly drove by in a 2010 Chevrolet Impala. 

Rhynes then exited the vehicle and shot Byrd, authorities said.

Neither a motive for the shooting, nor the relationship between the two men have been disclosed. 

Lee broke the news of the actor's death on Instagram, writing: 'I'm So Sad To Announce The Tragic Murder Of Our Beloved Brother Thomas Jefferson Byrd Last Night In Atlanta, Georgia.'

In his post about the news, Lee included a photo of Byrd playing the character Errol Barnes in his 1995 movie Clockers.

'May We All Wish Condolences And Blessings To His Family. Rest In Peace Brother Byrd,' the director wrote.

Byrd was born in Griffin, Georgia, in 1950. 

Pictured: Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd in July 2008
Pictured: Thomas Jefferson Byrd in June 2014

Authorities have not released additional details regarding Byrd's (left and right) death, including a motive for the shooting and his relationship with the suspect 

Byrd was found with multiple gunshot wounds to the back near a home on Belvedere Avenue in southwest Atlanta

Byrd was found with multiple gunshot wounds to the back near a home on Belvedere Avenue in southwest Atlanta

Lee broke the news of the actor's death on Instagram, writing: 'I'm So Sad To Announce The Tragic Murder Of Our Beloved Brother Thomas Jefferson Byrd Last Night In Atlanta, Georgia'

Lee broke the news of the actor's death on Instagram, writing: 'I'm So Sad To Announce The Tragic Murder Of Our Beloved Brother Thomas Jefferson Byrd Last Night In Atlanta, Georgia'

He earned a bachelor of science degree in education from Morris Brown College and a Masters of Fine Arts degree in dance from the California Institute of the Arts before making his acting debut in a 1992 episode of In The Heat Of The Night.

Three years later he appeared in Clockers, his first of many collaborations with Lee.

Among the other highlights in his career were appearances in 'Set It Off,' 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent,' 'Living Single,' and 'The Last O.G.'

His final role was as Abner in the Civil War drama 'Freedom's Path,' which is scheduled to be released later this year.

Byrd is survived by one son, five daughters, five grandchildren and his ex-wife.

One of his daughters, Desaree Murden, told AJC: 'I realized that God’s gift to me was my dad and the way he loved me and the way that he made me feel — that I was the smartest, most capable, most beautiful person in the world.

'I could do anything. I would say something trivial. And he would be like, "Girl, you are so smart."'

A memorial service for Byrd was held on Tuesday near Hillside International Truth Center. It was also streamed online for fans and loved ones. 

Atlanta SWAT team sends a DRONE into an apartment to force out man, 30, who is charged with the murder of Spike Lee movie actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd Atlanta SWAT team sends a DRONE into an apartment to force out man, 30, who is charged with the murder of Spike Lee movie actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:31 Rating: 5

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