A Georgia man pleaded guilty on Friday to a federal hate crime and a firearms violation after he shot into two separate gas station convenience stores in an attempt to kill Black or Arab people.
According to the Department of Justice, on July 30, 2021, Larry Edward Foxworth, 48, of Jonesboro, fired multiple shots from a Glock pistol through a window and door of a Shell gas station convenience store in Jonesboro, GA.
A few minutes later, Foxworth fired more rounds from the same handgun through the windows and door of a nearby BP gas station convenience store. Both stores were open and occupied when Foxworth went on his shooting rampage, but thankfully no one was injured. Foxworth admitted in court that he intended to kill people inside the stores and on the premises.
“Foxworth used a firearm to commit a heinous hate crime that traumatized his victims as well as the communities who rely on these businesses,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan for the Northern District of Georgia. “The vigorous prosecution of such abhorrent acts of violence and intimidation with the assistance of our federal partners is a top priority for this office.”
Foxworth was arrested by Clayton County Police shortly after his second shooting. While detained, Foxworth explained to officers that he was targeting Black people and others whom he perceived to be Arab.
He also told authorities he hoped that he had killed his targets and professed belief in white supremacist ideology and an allegiance to a white supremacist organization.
“No one should have to live in fear of being targeted for deadly violence because they are Black or Arab American,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This defendant, who professed support for a white supremacist organization, is being held accountable for an abhorrent act of violence motivated by race and national origin. This conviction should make clear that the Justice Department stands ready to prosecute any individual who carries out a violent hate-motivated crime in our country.”
According to the DOJ, Foxworth’s plea agreement filed in court calls for a sentence of between 20 and 25 years in prison.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 16, 2023.
“Hate-fueled violent crimes ripple through communities, making entire groups feel unsafe and unwelcome, spawning fear and anger,” said Special Agent in Charge Keri Farley of the FBI Atlanta Field Office. “Prosecuting hate crimes is a top priority of the FBI. We will not back down from obtaining justice for victims of hate-based violence.”