A teacher at the University of West Georgia who has since been fired has been 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 after she was shot in a parking deck in Carrollton, Georgia, on Saturday, Carrollton police said.
Jones was slated to begin attending the University of West Georgia this fall, school spokesperson Colton Campbell told NBC News.
“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 the officers were initially called to Tanner Medical Center in Carrollton at around 12:30 am over 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 during the commission of a crime, police said.
Sigman was booked into Carroll County Jail, according to police. It is not known at this time 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.
Sigman left and started walking to the parking deck, where he started 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 from the page.
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.
A GoFundMe started to help the family with Funeral expenses 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 come forward, police said.