18-Year-Old Lollapalooza Security Worker Accused of Faking Mass Shooting Threat to Get Off Early

·2 min read
Image via Getty/Gary Miller/FilmMagic
Image via Getty/Gary Miller/FilmMagic

An 18-year-old woman working as a security guard at the 2022 edition of Lollapalooza in Chicago has been accused of making a false mass shooting threat.

As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, Janya Williams, 18, is alleged to have faked the threat at the internationally renowned music festival on Friday by first sending a message “to a witness’ cellphone” just before 3 p.m. local time. That message, according to Cook County officials, falsely claimed a “mass shooting” with “150 targets” was set to take place at the four-day festival.

The person who received the alleged message then reported to supervisors, who reached out to local police and the FBI. Later, Williams is alleged to have told the same individual that her sister had told her about a mass shooting threat. When asked to share a screenshot showing the threat in question, Williams is further accused of having assembled a fake Facebook profile to write a post about a “massive shooting” set to take place that evening.

Ultimately, per the Sun-Times, officials were able to link these actions back to Williams. At this point, the 18-year-old was brought in for questioning, at which point police allege she confessed to the fake message in question. Furthermore, at least according to comments from prosecutors summarized in multiple local reports, Williams said the reason for making the fake threat was so she could “leave work early.”

Online jail records list a booking date for Williams of July 31, with her next court appearance slated for Aug. 8. Per reports, Williams has been charged with a felony count of making a false terrorism threat.

Performers for Lollapalooza 2022 at Grant Park included Lil Baby, Charli XCX, Green Day, Machine Gun Kelly, J. Cole, and more. This week, organizers announced dates for next year’s edition, which will kick off on Aug. 3.

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