An 18-year-old security guard was arrested at Lollapalooza over the weekend after she allegedly sent text and Facebook messages purporting to threaten a mass shooting at the annual event.
According to Fox News, 18-year-old Janya Williams was arrested after she allegedly sent fake mass shooting threats during last weekend’s Lollapalooza music festival. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office released a photo of her mugshot.
On Friday (July 29), Williams reportedly used the TextNow app to anonymously alert her supervisor about the nonexistent threat. “Mass shooting at 4 p.m. location Lollapalooza. We have 150 targets,” the message read. Her supervisor immediately notified upper management, who informed the Chicago Police Department and the FBI’s Joint Counterterrorism Task Force. Williams’ supervisor then told the security staff about the situation. The young woman reportedly kept the lie going by saying her sister had seen a similar threat posted on Facebook.
Officials asked Williams if she could locate the social media post, at which point she allegedly created a fake profile using the name “Ben Scott.” The 18-year-old is accused of writing, “Massive shooting at Lollapalooza Grant Park 6:00 p.m.” Prosecutors say the young woman took a screenshot of the profile and showed it to her supervisor. Once the FBI got involved, they were able to trace the TextNow message back to Williams’ IP address and iCloud. Court documents read, “The Emergency Disclosure Request returned an Apple ICloud account and an IP address, the information revealed the account belonged to the [defendant],” according to the Block Club Chicago.
Williams was charged with a felony for making a false terrorism threat and a judge set her bond at $50,000. If she makes bail, Williams must be on electronic monitoring. Prosecutors say the 18-year-old confessed to making the fake threats “because she wanted to leave work early.” Williams will appear before a judge on Monday (Aug. 8).