Security Guard Arrested For Allegedly Making False Claims Of Mass Shooting To Leave Work Early
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Featured Image Credit: Cook County Sheriff's Office/Sipa US/Alamy
A security guard at Lollapalooza has been arrested after allegedly making a false claim of a mass shooting to get out of work.
On Friday 29 July at 2.50pm local time, security guard Janya Williams allegedly sent a message warning of a mass shooting coming in less than two hours.
The message reportedly read: "Mass shooting at 4 p.m. Location Lollapalooza We have 150 targets."
The witness who received the message immediately told their supervisors about the mass shooting threat they'd received, and they in turn contacted Chicago police and the FBI to pass along the warning.
Prosecutors claim that the witness who received the message returned to their post at 4pm, and allege that Williams then told them her sister had told her about a mass shooting threat made on Facebook.
When asked to send a screenshot of the Facebook post which was meant to be threatening a mass shooting at Lollapalooza, Williams allegedly created a fake Facebook profile and wrote a post there, Chicago Sun Times reports.
Prosecutors say she created a profile with the name 'Ben Scott' and made a post which read: "Massive shooting at Lollapalooza Grant Park 6:00 p.m."
They claim she then screenshotted the post and sent it to the witness from her own phone, and that she had sent the initial threat message from her TextNow app.
Williams was taken in for questioning after investigators traced the iCloud and IP address of the TextNow number back to her phone.
According to prosecutors, the 18-year-old security guard allegedly admitted to sending the messages 'because she wanted to leave work early'.
Appearing in court on 31 July, Williams has been charged with one count of making a false terrorism threat, she has been detained with a bail of $50,000. Her next court date is 8 August.
In the state of Illinois, someone found guilty of making a false threat of terrorism can face a prison sentence of between four and 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
It's a Class 1 felony, which means it's seen on the same level as crimes such as sexual assault, possession of drugs such as heroin or cocaine and theft of goods valued between $10,000 and $100,000.
On top of that, a person convicted of the crime can be ordered to pay the costs of responding to the threat as a fine.
UNILAD has reached out to Lollapalooza for comment.
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