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Lollapalooza Security Guard Sent Fake Mass Shooting Threat to Leave Work Early, Prosecutors Say

The 18-year-old's text read, "Mass shooting at 4pm location Lollapalooza. We have 150 targets." FBI investigators quickly traced it to a security guard's phone.

A security guard at Lollapalooza is facing criminal charges in Chicago after she allegedly sent a fake threat of a mass shooting to her supervisor because she “wanted to leave work early.”

In court documents obtained by Billboard, prosecutors say Janya Williams, 18, sent her supervisor a text message on Friday (July 29) from a smartphone app called TextNow that read, “Mass shooting at 4pm location Lollapalooza. We have 150 targets.”

Later that same day, prosecutors say Williams also fabricated a Facebook post that read “Massive shooting at Lollapalooza Grant Park 6:00 p.m.,” which she screenshotted and forwarded to her boss.


FBI terrorism investigators quickly traced the original text back to Williams, prosecutors say. When confronted over the messages, Williams allegedly admitted to investigators that she “sent the message and created the fake post because she wanted to leave work early.”

Williams was arrested on Sunday and faces a single charge of falsely making a terrorist threat. At a hearing later that day, a judge set bail at $50,000; it’s unclear if she posted bail or if she remains in custody at press time. Neither Williams nor an attorney could be immediately located for comment on Thursday (Aug. 4).

It does not appear that her threats actually delayed or disrupted the Live Nation-owned four-day festival, which carried on throughout Friday and through the weekend with performances by Metallica, Dua Lipa, J. Cole, Green Day, j-hope, Charli XCX and nearly 100,000 attendees per day. According to Chicago officials, the 2022 festival at actually saw a significant drop in problems like hospitalizations and arrests from the year prior.