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Mother of Chicago man who threw house party says she's horrified by viral video

The woman, a first responder, told NBC Chicago that her 26-year-old son threw the party while she was on a 24-hour shift.
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The mother of a 26-year-old man who threw a Chicago house party in violation of shelter-in-place orders said she was horrified by the video of the gathering.

The video of the Friday night party went viral over the weekend and drew widespread outrage, including from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Lightfoot blasted the party after seeing footage of people crammed together in the home, calling the event “reckless and utterly unacceptable” on Sunday. The homeowner, who is a first responder and asked to remain anonymous, told NBC Chicago on Tuesday that she was working a 24-hour shift when her son hosted the party.

She said she came home to a clean house and was completely unaware of the party until police arrived.

“And after that, some police came to my house and said, 'Were you aware that it was a party at your house?' And I was like, 'No, I wasn't aware.' And then they showed me the video,” she said.

The woman told NBC Chicago that she was horrified by the video and furious with her son. She hadn’t seen her family in nearly two months due to the risk of exposure to coronavirus associated with her job.

"So if I'm doing social distancing, then I most definitely don't condone this type of behavior,” she said.

Her son, Janeal Wright, admitted to NBC Chicago that he knew his mother wouldn’t be home and deactivated their digital doorbell to keep her from receiving notifications.

Wright said he only initially invited about 20 to 30 people to celebrate the lives of friends who died of gun violence, but the party quickly blew up to host almost 200 people. He blamed his ignorance on the severity of the coronavirus pandemic on “being young.”

"It really hasn't been hitting home for us like that, but now I see the error of everything,” Wright said.

Chicago police issued a citation for violation for disorderly conduct to Wright’s mother on Monday.

“The Chicago Department of Public Health will follow up with the owners of the property and attendees to ensure any health risks that could have arisen from this party are monitored and mitigated,” police said in a statement.

Illinois residents have been under an order to stay at home since March 21 in an effort to help slow the spread of coronavirus. The state has had more than 48,000 cases and at least 2,125 deaths associated with the global pandemic as of Wednesday.