A Lollapalooza security guard was arrested over the weekend for allegedly texting and falsifying Facebook posts indicating a mass shooting was imminent at the festival. The 18-year-old guard is accused of making up the threats to miss the music festival job and go home early.
ABC7 Chicago reported this week that weekend worker Janya Williams was behind bars after being charged with “sending a false text threatening the festival to a co-worker.” The text read “Mass firing at 4 p.m. Lollapalooza location. We have 150 targets.” This anonymous text, sent via TextNow, sparked a “chain reaction” within the Chicago Police Department and the FBI after security supervisors informed authorities.
Williams shared another threat that was made up later. She allegedly told her boss that her sister alerted her to another mass shooting threat on Facebook and produced a screenshot of a fake account created by Williams. Prosecutors say the message read “Mass Shooting at Lollapalooza GrantPark 6:00 PM.” The message was never posted on Facebook.
The ruse fell apart after authorities discovered Williams had sent the initial text, according to Block Club Chicago. An investigation of the “Apple iCloud account and an IP address” showed that they “belonged to the [defendant]. Prosecutors said that when Williams was questioned, she admitted to sending the message and creating the fake message in order to leave work early.
Lollapalooza 2022 was sold out for the weekend shows, meaning around 100,000 people could have been evacuated when Williams wanted to take “me time”.
ABC7 Chicago TV on Lollapalooza security guard faking mass shooting scare
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