Former West Georgia instructor had no prior interaction with victim, police say

Richard Sigman, 47, charged with murder in death 18-year-old Anna Jones

An incoming University of West Georgia freshman and the now-fired instructor accused of killing her had no prior interaction, police said Monday.

“There is no indication that they knew each other and nothing to suggest they had any interaction before or leading up to the shooting,” Sgt. Meredith Browning told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Anna Jones, 18, died early Saturday after being shot while inside a car with her friends, according to police. Carrollton police said Richard Sigman, 47, fired into a parking deck after being asked to leave a pizza restaurant, but there’s no indication the shooting targeted anyone.

Jones would have started her freshman year next week at West Georgia and hoped to become a nurse. Sigman was a business instructor at the university and also worked in real estate. He’s been fired, the university said.

While Sigman remained in the Carroll County jail charged with murder, family and friends of Jones were faced with planning a funeral for the recent high school graduate.

“This was a devastating and senseless crime that left a lot of hearts broken, a community mourning, and a family grieving,” the organizer of a GoFundMe page posted online.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

By Monday afternoon, more than $19,000 had been raised for the Jones family and loved ones posted messages of sympathy.

“I can’t thank this girl enough for loving and caring for my baby boy like he was her own at the daycare,” one woman wrote. “Almost every single afternoon when I came to pick him up he would be sitting in her lap holding her with the biggest smiles on both of their faces. They had so much love for each other.”

A lifelong resident of Carroll County, Jones was a cheerleader, played soccer and ran track at Mount Zion High School and was selected for the homecoming court, according to her online obituary. Funeral arrangements were pending late Monday.

For the Mount Zion community, it was the second time in 18 months that a student was killed by gunfire. In March 2021, 17-year-old Candace Chrzan was killed in what investigators believe was an accident while teenagers were target-shooting in a backyard. She was a Mount Zion senior.

Jones was shot as she sat in a car in the Adamson Square parking deck early Saturday, according to police. Friends immediately drove her to Tanner Medical Center less than two miles away, but Jones died from her injuries.

Officers were called to the hospital around 12:30 a.m. and began the investigation into the shooting.

Sigman had been at Leopoldo’s Pizza Napoletana on the square when he got into an argument with another man, according to police. The man said Sigman threatened to shoot him and told a security guard, who saw Sigman with a gun and told him to leave the restaurant.

Sigman left the restaurant, according to witnesses, and walked into the parking deck. That’s where he fired shots at the parked car with Jones inside, according to police.

Officers arrested Sigman, who lives in Villa Rica, and charged him with murder, three counts each of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Investigators believe Sigman had legally purchased the gun, which was recovered. He was being held without bond on Monday, jail records showed.

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Later Saturday, the university announced that Sigman had been fired from his job as a lecturer in the business school. Sigman’s bio was quickly removed from the university website.

Sigman, a Conyers native, has no known criminal history. He attended both the University of Georgia and Kennesaw State University and has worked as a broker and financial advisor, according to his Facebook and LinkedIn social media profiles. A former Cobb County resident, Sigman was divorced in 2010 after more than 10 years of marriage, court records show.

Many of Sigman’s Facebook posts show outings on lakes, including a recent kayaking trip and camping. Older posts also seemed to indicate an affinity for guns. In one meme posted last spring, a young woman is shown crying while calling 911.

“I was watching Looney Tunes and Elmer Fudd had a gun!” the caption reads.

Some used Sigman’s social media page to express their anger over the shooting.

“It’s safer with you behind bars,” one poster wrote on Sigman’s Facebook page.

The investigation into the shooting continued Monday. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Carrollton Police Department at 770-834-4451.