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(Credit: Press / Charles Reagan)

Music

Lollapalooza security guard faked mass shooting threat “to leave work early”

A security guard at this year’s Lollapalooza festival has been arrested for circulating anonymous text messages which suggested a mass shooting at the festival site was imminent.

Janya Williams – currently 18 years old – has been charged for sending her supervisor the text just before 3pm on the second day of the Chicago festival. The message allegedly read: “Mass shooting at 4 pm location Lollapalooza. We have 150 targets.”

According to a report by NBS Chicago, Williams informed her supervisor that her sister had seen a post about the planned mass shooting on Facebook. She then went about setting up the Facebook event under the name Ben Scott, writing a post in which it was stated that a mass shooting would be taking place at Lollapalooza at 6pm. She then sent a screenshot to her supervisor.

After the Chicago police and the FBI Join Counterterrorism Task Force were notified, the investigators tracked the Apple iCloud account and IP address of the TextNow number used to send the message back to William’s phone. The teenager was subsequently questioned by the authorities and admitted to sending the message “because she wanted to leave work early.”

Williams has since been charged with making a false terrorist threat, a felony. During an initial hearing on Sunday, Cook County Judge Mary Maurbio set the 18-year-old’s bail at $50,000. Williams will appear back in court on Monday.

Lollapalooza 2022 featured a line-up consisting of Dua Lipa, Metallica, J. Cole, Green Day, Machine Gun Kelly, The KID LAROI, Charli XCX and more. Tomorrow X Together, the first K-pop act to perform at the festival, also made an appearance. The opening night also saw a group of activists protest Chicago’s 10 pm weekend curfew for people under the age of 18.