CARROLLTON, Ga. — A former University of West Georgia professor is behind bars, accused of publicly shooting and killing an 18-year-old woman leaving a small community grieving. Anna Jones was killed overnight Saturday.
Carrollton Police Department investigators said Richard Sigman, 47, was taken into custody after officers were called to Tanner Medical Center around 12:30 a.m. about a woman who arrived at the facility shot.
Callers to 911 said the woman, identified as Jones, was hurt off Adamson Square in the courthouse parking deck, according to police.
Investigators said that initial evidence shows that Sigman and another man got into a verbal fight at Leopoldo's, a popular pizzeria in the square. The man alerted security that Sigman threatened to shoot him. When security approached Sigman, they noted he had a gun and told him to leave. Sigman obeyed and walked toward the parking deck, officers said.
Sigman then started shooting in the area and struck Jones who was sitting in a parked vehicle, authorities said. Friends quickly drove her to the hospital where she died.
Jones was enrolled to attend UWG in the fall, however, police said she was not one of Sigman's students. They noted that Sigman was intoxicated during the altercation and shooting.
The 18-year-old was a recent graduate from Mount Zion High School, according to a memorial posted by school leaders.
"It is with great sadness that we write to inform you of the passing of Anna Jones, a recent Class of 2022 graduate of MZHS. Anna loved this school and this community and she will be missed dearly by many," a spokesperson wrote on social media.
She also attended Mt. Zion Elementary, which honored the recent graduate with a statement calling her "an outstanding student and friend."
Jones was enrolled as an incoming freshman at UWG, a university spokesperson said, adding that Sigman's employment has been terminated in the wake of her death.
“On behalf of the university, we wish to convey our deepest condolences to Anna’s family and many friends,” said Dr. Brendan Kelly, UWG’s president in a prepared statement. “We know this news is difficult to process and affects many members of our university community. We ask that you keep Anna’s family, friends, and all who have been touched by this tragedy in your thoughts during this tremendously difficult time.”
As Jones' death was sudden, loved ones have organized a fundraiser to help her family cover funeral expenses.
People can donate to the Sweet Anna fund here.
As for Sigman, he is facing three counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and murder charges. He was booked into the Carroll County Jail.