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University of West Georgia professor charged with murder at age 18

A now fired professor at the University of West Georgia has been charged with fatally shooting an 18-year-old woman, officials said.

Richard Sigman, 47, was arrested and charged with murder shortly after the death of Anne Jones, 18, after she was shot in a parking lot in Carrollton, Georgia, on Saturday, the Carrollton Police Department said.

Police said officers were first called to Tanner Medical Center in Carrollton around 12.30pm following reports of a woman who had been 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 in the commission of the crime, police said.

Callers told police the incident took place off Adamson Square in a courthouse parking lot after Sigman got into a verbal altercation with another man at Leopoldo, a popular pizzeria on the square.

Police say the other man allegedly told at least one security guard that Sigman had threatened to shoot him. When security approached Sigman, they saw he had a gun and ordered him to leave.

Anna Jones, 18, of Carrolton, Georgia, who was shot on July 30, 2022.GoFundMe

Sigman left and began walking toward the parking lot, where he began shooting at a parked vehicle, hitting Jones, police said.

“Friends immediately took her to hospital, where she was pronounced dead,” police said.

In a statement provided to Atlanta-based NBC affiliate WXIA, a spokesperson for Western Georgia University said Sigman was fired on Saturday.

“On behalf of the university, we wish to convey our deepest condolences to Anna’s family and her many friends,” said UWG President Dr. Brendan Kelly in a statement shared with WXIA.

“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 those affected by this tragedy in your thoughts during this extremely difficult time,” the statement read.

The university did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News. A webpage listing the school’s faculty with the Richards College of Business Department of Management had recently named “Rick Sigman” as a lecturer at the school. His profile has since been removed from the page.

According to WXIA, Jones had been signed up to attend UWG in the fall, but police said she was not one of Sigman’s students, according to the outlet.

The teenager had recently graduated from Mount Zion High School, according to a statement posted on social media by the school leaders.

“Anna loved this school and this community and she will be dearly missed,” the statement read, sharing a link to a GoFundMe page set up to help with funeral costs. By early Monday, over $17,800 had been raised.


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