A Georgia man pleaded guilty on Friday to a federal hate crime and a firearms violation for shooting into two Clayton County convenience stores in 2021, in an attempt to kill those inside because of they were Black and of Arab descent.
According to information presented in court, on July 30, 2021, Larry Edward Foxworth, a 48-year-old Jonesboro resident, fired numerous rounds from a Glock pistol through a window and door of a Shell gas station convenience store.
Just minutes later, Foxworth again fired multiple rounds from the same handgun through the windows and door of a nearby BP gas station convenience store.
Both suburban Atlanta stores were open for business and occupied when Foxworth fired the shots.
No one was injured in either shooting, but Foxworth admitted that he intended to kill people inside the stores and on the premises.
Clayton County Police Department officers arrested Foxworth shortly after the second attack.
While in police custody at the scene, Foxworth made multiple statements explaining that he was targeting Black people and others who he perceived to be Arab.
Foxworth expressed hope 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.”
“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.”
“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.”
The plea agreement filed in court calls for a punishment of between 20 and 25 years in prison when he is sentenced on March 16, 2023.
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