Georgia professor arrested for murder of 18-year-old woman shot dead in parking garage
A Georgia professor has been arrested and charged in connection with the murder of an 18-year-old woman who was fatally shot in a parking garage over the weekend.
At around 12.30am on Saturday, officers from the Carrollton Police Department received a call about an 18-year-old woman who had been taken to Tanner Medical Center suffering from gunshot wounds.
The woman, later identified as recent high school graduate Anna Jones, had been driven to the facility that evening by friends after she’d been shot while sitting in a stationary car at a parking garage near Adamson Square, approximately one mile away from the hospital.
The young woman was pronounced dead at the facility after being admitted.
Shortly after receiving the call about the fatally injured woman, police released a statement saying that they’d arrested 47-year-old Richard Sigman, a University of West Georgia professor and had charged the man with murder, three charges of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of crime for his involvement in the death of Jones.
According to preliminary information released by the Carrollton police department, Mr Sigman had allegedly gotten into a verbal fight with another man at a nearby Italian restaurant in the city, located about 45 miles west of Atlanta close to the Alabama state line.
“The male notified security that Sigman threatened to shoot him. Security approached Sigman, saw he had a weapon, and told him to leave,” police said in a statement. “Sigman then left walking toward the parking deck. The investigation then indicates Sigman walked into the parking deck and began shooting into a parked vehicle striking the victim.”
Mr Sigman is being held at the county prison and a bond hasn’t been set, according to Carroll County Jail records,
The 18-year-old was commemorated in a Facebook post by Mount Zion High School, where she was a 2022 high school graduate, as a student who “loved this school and this community”.
“It is with great sadness that we write to inform you of the passing of Anna Jones,” the post began. “Anna loved this school and this community and she will be missed dearly by many. Please keep her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers as they go through this difficult time.”
An online fundraiser, organised for the 18-year-old’s mother on behalf of a friend, was set up shortly after her death was announced, with the proceeds from the GoFundme going towards the funeral expenses.
“She was a beautiful, sweet soul and her smile would light up a room!” wrote the organiser, Jennifer Lepard. The online fundraiser had collected more than $18,000 as of Monday morning, outpacing its outset goal of $7,500.
This is 18-year-old Anna Jones. Carrollton PD says she was shot and killed by a college professor. Her friend Ethan sent me this pic of her, saying she "was a beautiful, sweet, caring girl...There are so many good qualities, no one could list them all." @cbs46 pic.twitter.com/VrRops2qK9
— Madeline Montgomery (@MadelineTV) July 31, 2022
“As with most parents, you never think that you will need life insurance for your child. This was a devastating and senseless crime that left a lot of hearts broken, a community mourning, and a family grieving,” the fundraiser added.
The University of West Virginia, where Sigman was employed as a Lecturer of Management and Entrepreneurship, according to his LinkedIn, released a statement over the weekend stating that the 47-year-old had been fired upon learning that he’d been arrested in connection to the 18-year-old’s murder.
“The University of West Georgia has learned of the loss of one of its students, Anna Jones, who passed away following an off-campus incident earlier today,” said the university in a statement shared with WGCL.
Jones, a 2022 high school graduate, had been accepted to the Georgian institution and had planned to begin studying in the fall.
“UWG has terminated the employment of Richard Sigman and continues to work with the city of Carrollton Police Department, which leads this ongoing investigation. On behalf of the university, we wish to convey our deepest condolences to Anna’s family and many friends,” said the UWG president, Dr Brendan Kelly, in a statement.
The university added in the statement that counselling and support services would be made available to all students, faculty, and staff.
Carrollton police are asking anyone with information to contact the department, as the case remains active and ongoing, the force said in a statement.
The Independent reached out to the Carrollton Police Department for comment on the investigation but did not hear back immediately.