Lollapalooza Security Guard Arrested for Fake Mass Shooting Threat to Try to Leave Work Early
A Lollapalooza security was arrested over the weekend for allegedly sending texts and faking Facebook posts that said there was mass shooting imminent at the festival. The 18-year old guard is accused of making up the threats so she wouldn't have the work the music festival and go home early.
ABC7 Chicago reported this week that weekend worker Janya Williams was behind bars after being charged with "sending a fake text threatening the festival to a co-worker." The text read "Mass shooting at 4 p.m. location Lollapalooza. We have 150 targets." This anonymous text, sent via TextNow, set off a "chain reaction" in the Chicago Police Department and the FBI after security supervisors notified authorities.
Williams shared another made up threat later. She allegedly told her boss that her sister had alerted her to another mass shooting threat on Facebook, and produced a screenshot from a fake account that Williams had made. Prosecutors say the message read "Massive shooting at Lollapalooza GrantPark 6:00 p.m." The message was never actually posted on Facebook.
The ruse unraveled after authorities uncovered that Williams had sent the initial text, according to Block Club Chicago. An investigation into the " Apple ICloud account and an IP address" showed they "belonged to the [defendant]." Prosecutors said when Williams was brought in for questioning, she admitted she sent the message and created the fake post in order to leave work early.
Lollapalooza 2022 was sold out for the weekend shows, meaning there were about 100,000 people that could have been evacuated when Williams allegedly wanted to take some "me-time."