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Lollapalooza Security Guard Arrested After Faking Mass Shooting Threat

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File this under “do not do, ever”. An 18-year-old that worked as security for Lollapalooza has been charged with making a false terrorist threat (felony) after allegedly circulating two fake mass shooting messages. Janya Williams confessed that she sent the messages “because she wanted to leave work early”.

On the second day of the Chicago festival (July 29th), held in downtown Grant Park, Williams allegedly sent her supervisor an anonymous text message via the platform TextNow. The message said “mass shooting at 4PM location Lollapalooza. We have 150 targets.” Of course, thee supervisor alerted higher-ups on the festival’s security team. Additionally, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and the FBI were also made aware of the text. Lastly, Williams allegedly went to the supervisor claiming that her sister had seen a mass shooting thread on Facebook. She showed the supervisor a screenshot of a post made under a fake profile, “Ben Scott”, which she had created. The Facebook post said “massive shooting at Lollapalooza Grant Park 6 p.m.”.

Investigators quickly discovered that the Apple iCloud account and IP address of the TextNow number belonged to Williams. On Sunday, July 31st, William’s bond was set at $50,000. This also includes the condition that she must be on electronic monitoring if she’s released. Lastly, she was told that she had to pay a $500 bail deposit for breaking the terms of her release in an ongoing misdemeanor retail theft case from before. She remains in jail. Her next court appearance in August 8th.

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