Teenage Lollapalooza Security Worker Accused of Faking Mass Shooting Threat

Janya Williams allegedly confessed to authorities once brought in for questioning

BY Kayla HigginsPublished Aug 5, 2022

An 18-year-old has been accused of calling in a false mass shooting threat while working as a security guard at the 2022 edition of Lollapalooza in Chicago. 

As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, Janya Williams is alleged to have faked the threat at the music festival on Friday (July 29) by sending a message "to a witness's cellphone," just before 3 p.m. local time. The message falsely claimed that a "mass shooting" with "150 targets" would be taking place at the music festival, according to Cook County officials. 

The individual reported the alleged message to supervisors, who then reached out to local police and the FBI. That same witness was allegedly told by Williams that her sister had told her about the threat.

However, Williams is also accused of having assembled a fake Facebook profile under the name "Ben Cook" to create a post about a "massive shooting" that was set to take place that evening after she was asked to share a screenshot showing the threat in question.

Williams allegedly confessed to the fake message once brought in by officials for questioning. Comments from prosecutors in local reports have summarized the 18-year-old's reason for making the fake threat was so she could "leave work early."

Online records show that Williams was booked on July 31, where she was ordered to be held on $50,000 USD bail. As per the reports, the teenager has been charged with a felony count of making a false terrorism threat. She's scheduled to appear in court on August 8.

Latest Coverage