Public transportation encouraged as Lollapalooza continues

A security guard at the 2022 Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, Illinois, has been accused of making false mass shooting threats to get off work early.

In a report from the Chicago Sun-Times, Janya Williams, 18, allegedly fabricated the threat at the worldwide and popular music festival on Friday when she first sent a message “to a witness’ cellphone” before 3pm local time.

Cook County officials say that a message falsely claimed a “mass shooting” with “150 targets” was set to take place at the four-day festival.

Williams allegedly sent her supervisor one of the messages using the phone app TextNow.

Prosecutors said this prompted festival organisers to contact the Chicago Police Department and the FBI.

Later on, Williams was alleged to have told the same person that her sister had informed her of a mass shooting threat.

When she was asked to share a screenshot of the threat in question, Williams is further accused of assembling a fake Facebook profile to write a post about a “massive shooting” at the event in Grant Park that was set to occur that evening.

lollapalooza security guard charged with making fake mass shooting

The Sun-Times reported that officials were able to connect the alleged actions back to Williams. At that moment, she was brought in for questioning, at which point the police alleged that she admitted to the fake message.

In other comments from prosecutors summarized in various local reports, Williams said the reason for allegedly making the fake threat was to “leave work early.”

Online jail records have listed a booking date for Williams on 31 July and her next court appearance is set for Monday (8 August). Reports note that she has been charged with a felony count of making a false terrorism threat.

Block Club Chicago noted that Williams’ bail is set to $50,000. She would have to undergo electronic monitoring if released.

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