A Georgia man has pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime and a firearms violation in connection with back-to-back shootings at a pair of convenience stores last year.
Larry Edward Foxworth, 48, fired multiple rounds from a Glock pistol at a Shell gas station in Jonesboro at around 2:35 a.m. on July 30, 2021. Minutes later, he fired numerous times at a nearby BP gas station.
Foxworth was arrested shortly after the second shooting. While in police custody, he admitted to targeting Black people and those he had perceived to be Arab with the intent to kill them, according to the Department of Justice.
“Foxworth used a firearm to commit a heinous hate crime that traumatized his victims as well as the communities who rely on these businesses,” U.S. Attorney Ryan Buchanan of the Northern District of Georgia said in a statement. “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 also expressed support for white supremacist ideologies and allegiance to a white supremacist organization, the Justice Department said. It was not immediately clear which organization that is and whether he is a recognized member.
No one was killed or injured in the shootings. The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-GA) welcomed Foxworth’s guilty plea.
“We welcome the guilty plea in this case that once again reminds us of the serious danger posed by violent racism and white supremacy,” CAIR-GA Executive Director Murtaza Khwaja said in a statement. “We thank God that no one was harmed in these despicable attacks and that the perpetrator has been brought to justice.”
The Jonesboro resident faces 20 to 25 years in prison under his plea agreement.
“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 is set to be sentenced on March 16, 2023.