University of West Georgia Professor Charged With Murder Of Incoming Freshman

Anna Jones, 18, was sitting in a parked car with friends when she was shot.

A former professor at the University of West Georgia has been accused of fatally shooting an incoming freshman.

Richard Sigman, 47, was arrested and charged with murder shortly after Anna Jones, 18, died in a shooting Saturday at a parking deck, the Carrollton Police Department said in a statement on Facebook. Sigman was also charged with three counts of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of crime, police said.

Jones planned to start the University of West Georgia this fall, a school spokesperson told NBC News.

The teenager had recently graduated from Mount Zion High School in Jonesboro, the school said in a statement on social media.

“Anna loved this school and this community and she will be missed dearly by many,” the statement said alongside a link to a GoFundMe page set up to help cover funeral costs.

Officers responded at 12:27 a.m. on Saturday to a call about the shooting. Prior to that, police say Sigman got into a verbal altercation with another man at a popular pizzeria called Leopoldo’s. The man told security guards that Sigman threatened to shoot him. Security then approached Sigman, saw that he had a weapon and asked him to leave. Sigman left and headed toward a nearby parking deck, where he began shooting at a parked car and struck Jones, who was in a vehicle with two of her friends. Jones’ friends drove her to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

A spokesperson from the Carrollton Police Department told People that Jones did not know Sigman “at all.”

Sigman was fired from his position at the university following the shooting, according to a statement obtained by People from the University of West Georgia. NBC News reports that the school is is assisting police with the investigation.

“On behalf of the university, we wish to convey our deepest condolences to Anna’s family and many friends,” University of West Georgia president Brendan Kelly told NBC in a statement. “We know this news is difficult to process and affects many members of our university community.”

The GoFundMe page set up for Jones’ funeral expenses described the teen as “a beautiful, sweet soul.”

“This was a devastating and senseless crime that left a lot of hearts broken, a community mourning, and a family grieving,” the description on the page reads.

Sigman appeared in court Monday afternoon and was denied bond, police told NBC. He remains at Carroll County Jail, and his next court date is set for Sept. 2.

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