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BY Francis Akhalbey, 9:30am March 20, 2023,

Georgia man sentenced for targeting Blacks and Arabs in gas station shootings

Larry Foxworth, 48, admitted to trying to kill Blacks and Arabs -- Photo Credit: Clayton County Sheriffs Office

A Georgia man who admitted to trying to kill Blacks and Arabs because he hated those races was sentenced to 20 years in prison last Thursday. Authorities said 48-year-old Larry Foxworth shot at two stores in Jonesboro in 2021, 11Alive reported. His intention was to kill minorities because of the hatred he had for them. 

Following his arrest in connection with the shootings, the accused White man told the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office that he drove to the two locations and opened fire because he knew there would be Blacks and Arabs at those businesses. 

“Foxworth used a firearm to commit a brazen and heinous hate crime,” U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan said in a statement released by the Department of Justice. “He fired repeatedly into convenience stores in his effort to kill those inside based solely on the color of their skin.  This abhorrent act of violence and intimidation left the victims, their families, and the community traumatized, and merits the prison sentence Foxworth received. The Department of Justice and our federal law enforcement partners will continue to vigorously prosecute hate crimes.” 

Buchanan said Foxworth initially fired several rounds into a gas station convenience store in Jonesboro before doing the same at another nearby store. The two stores were said to be open and occupied when he opened fire. No one was hit by the gunfire.

“The defendant fired a gun into a store wanting to kill people who he thought were Black or Arab,” said Assistant Attorney General, Kristen Clarke, of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Hate-fueled violence not only traumatizes the victims, but it threatens and intimidates an entire community. This sentence demonstrates the importance of holding accountable those who commit racially-motivated violence. The Justice Department is committed to aggressively prosecuting those individuals who carry out hate crimes in our country.”   

One of the shooting survivors, Lorenzo Lambert, told 11Alive that Foxworth’s conviction was “a good thing.” “Maybe he’ll learn something while he in there. Some people don’t learn anything while they’re in there, they just get eviler,” Lambert added.

Victor Amaya also said the shootings shook up the community, adding that everyone is still cautious despite Foxworth’s conviction. “Well, nobody really knew exactly why they were doing it,” Amaya said. “We all thought it was a targeted thing, but we didn’t know what they were targeting… Now we know… It will take a while for us to get comfortable again, in the sense of us feeling safe around here.”

Per a report from the FBI, hate crimes in Georgia shot up by 22% (238 reported cases) in 2021. The number of reported hate crimes the previous year was 195. “I wouldn’t say I feel safer,” Lambert said about Foxworth’s conviction. 

“You just have to be more careful and just keep your head up and keep your eyes on the right things.”

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: March 20, 2023


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