Lollapalooza Security Guard Faked Mass Shooting Threat To Leave Work Early, Charged

A Lollapalooza security guard has been charged with making a false terrorist threat after circulating two fake mass shooting messages so she could leave work early, according to prosecutors.

'Mass Shooting at 4pm location Lollapalooza'

Janya Williams
Janya Williams (left) and an image showing thousands attending the Lollapalooze music festival at Grant Park in Chicago. (For representational purposes). Twitter

On Friday, July 29, the second day of the 4-day music festival, Janya Williams, 18, allegedly sent her supervisor an anonymous text message that read "Mass shooting at 4 pm location Lollapalooza. We have 150 targets" via text message.

Williams' supervisor immediately notified supervisors, reporting it to the Chicago Police command post in Grant Park. The FBI's Joint Counterterrorism Task Force was also notified of the potential threat, according to court documents. When Williams' supervisor returned to her team, Williams told them that her sister alerted her to a mass shooting threat found on Facebook.

Williams Created a Fake Facebook Account Under the Name 'Ben Scott'

Prosecutors said when Williams was asked to share a screenshot of the post, Williams created a Facebook page under the name "Ben Scott" and wrote out a post that read "Massive shooting at Lollapalooza GrantPark 6:00 p.m."

Williams took a screenshot of the post, without actually posting it to Facebook, and send the screenshot to her supervisor, prosecutors said. Through an emergency disclosure request, the FBI and Chicago police were able to determine that Williams sent the initial threat to her supervisor and the fake account belonged to her.

"The Emergency Disclosure Request returned an Apple iCloud account and an IP address, the information revealed the account belonged to the [defendant]," court documents said.

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. Williams had a pending case in a retail theft at the time of her arrest. A judge set Williams bond at $50,000, with the conditions that she must be on electronic monitoring if she's bonded out. Her next hearing is set for Aug. 8.