Man shot at gas stations and told cops he was targeting Arab, Black people, feds say
As police officers responded to a gas station shooting in Georgia, they heard more shots fired at a second gas station and raced over there, federal officials said.
A witness told police the gunshots were fired from a car that drove away, leading one officer to pull over its driver soon after in Jonesboro on July 30, 2021, according to court documents.
The driver, Larry Edward Foxworth, 48, of Jonesboro, told police he shot at both gas stations because he was hoping to kill Arab and Black people he believed were inside, prosecutors said.
After he was arrested, he boasted about “having struck a blow for white supremacy” and excitedly asked officers if anyone had died in the attack, court documents say. Ultimately, no one was hurt or hit in the shooting, according to prosecutors.
Now, a judge has sentenced Foxworth to 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to committing a hate crime based on actual or perceived race or color, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia announced in a March 16 news release.
“That this crime did not become yet another notorious massacre is no credit to (Foxworth),” his sentencing memo says. “He tried, sincerely, to perpetrate murder on a mass scale. Nothing but sheer luck stopped his shots from finding their intended targets.”
McClatchy News contacted Foxworth’s attorney for comment on March 17 and didn’t immediately receive a response.
Ahead of Foxworth’s sentencing, prosecutors emphasized the need for a lengthy prison sentence and described him as “unquestionably a brutal and dangerous person,” according to the sentencing memo.
The case dates to July 30, 2021, when Foxworth used a Glock pistol and repeatedly fired at one Jonesboro gas station and convenience store before doing the same at another location minutes later, prosecutors said.
At both gas stations, his bullets struck through the windows and doors of the convenience stores, according to officials.
One of the store’s cashiers who survived the shooting quit afterward, prosecutors said. The event caused her extreme anxiety for months.
Foxworth had a prior criminal history including convictions related to assaults, prosecutors said.
“Hate-fueled violence not only traumatizes the victims, but it threatens and intimidates an entire community,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement. “This sentence demonstrates the importance of holding accountable those who commit racially-motivated violence.”
Jonesboro is about 15 miles south of downtown Atlanta.
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