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University of West Georgia educator charged with murder in death of incoming student

Richard Sigman, 47, was accused of fatally shooting Anna Jones, 18, on Saturday. He was fired later that day, the University of West Georgia said.
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A teacher at the University of West Georgia who has since been fired is accused of fatally shooting an incoming student, school officials said.

Richard Sigman, 47, was arrested and charged with murder shortly after Anna Jones, 18, died in a shooting Saturday at a parking deck in Carrollton, Georgia, Carrollton police said.

Jones planned to start the University of West Georgia this fall, according to school spokesperson Colton Campbell.

“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 said in a statement. “We know this news is difficult to process and affects many members of our university community."

The university is assisting the Carollton Police Department with the investigation, according to the statement.

Police said officers were called to Tanner Medical Center in Carrollton around 12:30 a.m. after a woman had been reported shot.

Jones was pronounced dead at the medical center, and Sigman was arrested and charged with murder, three counts of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of crime, police said.

Sigman appeared in court Monday afternoon and was denied bond, said Carrollton Police Department spokesperson Meredith Brownings. He remains at Carroll County Jail, and his next court date is set for Sept. 2.

It was not clear Monday afternoon if he has an attorney.

Callers told police that the incident unfolded off Adamson Square in a courthouse parking deck after Sigman got into a verbal altercation with another man at Leopoldo's, a popular pizzeria in the square.

Police said the other man was alleged to have told at least one security guard that Sigman had threatened to shoot him. When security approached Sigman, they saw that he had a weapon and ordered him to leave.

Anna Jones, 18, of Carrollton, Ga., was fatally shot Saturday.
Anna Jones, 18, of Carrollton, Ga., was fatally shot Saturday. GoFundMe

Sigman left and began walking to the parking deck, where he began shooting into a parked vehicle, striking Jones, police said.

"Friends immediately drove her to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead," police said.

A webpage listing the school's faculty in the Department of Management in the Richards College of Business had as recently as last month named "Rick Sigman" as a lecturer. His profile has since been removed.

Jones had recently graduated from Mount Zion High School, school leaders 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, sharing a link to a GoFundMe page set up to help cover funeral costs.

The fundraiser's creators described Jones as "a beautiful, sweet soul" and called the incident "a devastating and senseless crime that left a lot of hearts broken, a community mourning, and a family grieving."

Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact police.