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Lollapalooza worker faked mass shooting shooting threat, lawyers say

A security worker at Lollapalooza in Chicago wanted to leave work early, so she made a fake post threatening a mass shooting, according to a court document from the Cook County State’s Attorney Office.

The employee, 18-year-old Janya Williams, worked for Andy Frain Services, a security company providing security for the four-day Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago’s Grant Park.

At 2:48 pm on July 29, Williams used the texting app TextNow to send her supervisor a text.

“Mass shooting at 4pm location Lollapalooza,” text read, claiming the shooters had 150 targets.

Williams’ supervisor immediately told other company supervisors, who told the Chicago Police Department Command Post. Both Chicago police and the FBI Joint Counterterrorism Task Force were told about the threat, the document says.

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Later, Williams said her sister saw a mass shooting threat on Facebook.

According to the document, Williams’ supervisor told her to send a screenshot of the Facebook threat. Williams then made a Facebook page under the name “Ben Scott” and wrote out a Facebook post that read “Massive shooting at Lollapalooza Grant Park 6:00p.m.”

Williams didn’t post the threat on Facebook, but took a screenshot of the draft and sent it to her supervisor from her own cell phone.

According to the documents, an FB task force completed an Emergency Disclosure Request for the TextNow phone number Williams used to send the threat. From that request, they were able to connect an Apple iCloud account and an IP address to Williams.

She eventually admitted to sending the text and making the fake post because she “wanted to leave work early,” the document says.

A spokesperson from the Chicago Police Department said Williams has been charged with felony terrorism or making a false threat.

She had a bail hearing on July 31 with bond set at $50,000 and electronic monitoring.

Her next court date is Monday, said the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Media representatives from Lollapalooza did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Saleen Martin is a reporter on USA TODAY’s NOW team. She is from Norfolk, Virginia – the 757 – and loves all things horror, witches, Christmas, and food. Follow her on Twitter at @Saleen_Martin or email her at [email protected].

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