Atlanta Police Use Drone in Arrest of Suspect in Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd's Killing

The Atlanta Police flew an unarmed drone into a homicide suspect’s residence to assist in his arrest in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 16.

The police wrote on Facebook, “Homicide detectives, following up on evidence and tips from citizens, identified a suspect in the shooting death of Thomas Jefferson Byrd, who was killed on October 3.”

According to police, “On October 14, 2020, warrants for the arrest of 30-year-old Antonio Demetrice Rhynes of Atlanta for Felony Murder were issued and investigators from the APD Fugitive Unit began working to arrest Rhynes. In the early morning of Friday, October 16, 2020, the Fugitive Unit, in coordination with APD SWAT Officers, arrested Rhynes at Royal Oaks Apartments 3540 North Camp Creek Parkway. The suspect was taken to the Fulton County Jail.”

Muted drone footage shows an explosion outside the residence’s front door, followed by the aerial vehicle entering the apartment. Rhynes sees the drone and puts his hands on his head, exiting the residence.

According to local news reports, Byrd, age 70, was an actor known for his work in Spike Lee films. He was shot and killed near his southwest Atlanta home on October 3. Credit: City of Atlanta Police Department via Storyful