Room of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock gets spiritual cleansing from Catholic priest

A Chicago Catholic priest has performed a spiritual cleansing of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino room used by gunman Stephen Paddock during a mass shooting in Las Vegas earlier this month. 

The Rev. Clete Kiley told Newsweek that he confronted what he called the “mystery of evil” while performing a Roman Catholic rite on October 18 inside a room on the hotel’s 32nd floor. It was from this room that Paddock unleashed a barrage of bullets onto a country music festival on Oct. 1, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds more.

Kiley, who is affiliated with the hospitality workers’ union UNITE HERE, was in Las Vegas to comfort traumatized staff at the Mandalay Bay ― some of whom he said were nervous about returning to the 32nd floor. After the FBI released the floor back to the hotel, he told the Chicago Sun Times that he brought a glass of water and a palm branch with him to perform a cleanse.

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LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: A man lays on top of a woman as others flee the Route 91 Harvest country music festival grounds after a active shooter was reported on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman has opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, leaving at least 2 people dead. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was hear on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman has opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, leaving at least 20 people dead and more than 100 injured. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: A cowboy hat lays in the street after shots were fired near a country music festival on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman has opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, leaving at least 20 people dead and more than 100 injured. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: People run for cover at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01:  A person lies on the ground covered with blood at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01:  A person lies on the ground at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: (People carry a peson at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: People take cover at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: A man in a wheelchair is taken away from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
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When the temporary door that had sealed the crime scene was opened, Kiley said he felt as if he was “pushed back.”

 “In my mind, I found myself saying to myself: ‘Oh no, you have to go.’ I instinctively began to pray in silence: ‘St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Protect us against the wickedness and snares of the devil,’” he told the Sun Times.

Kiley then walked through a hallway littered with plaster and broken light fixtures, with bullet holes still visible in the walls. As he entered Paddock’s former room, he said he felt a “profound silence.”

“I kept saying this is just evil, raw evil,” he told the Sun Times. 

The priest then blessed the water and used the Catholic prayer for the blessing of a house to pray over every corner of the suite. He also asked the Holy Spirit to descend into the room with ” light, joy, peace, hope and life.”

Kiley said that leaders of other faith traditions may also be invited to pray in the space. HuffPost reached out to MGM Resorts International and UNITE HERE to confirm, but has not heard back.

“I really saw the whole thing as part of a healing process. A small part of a healing process,” Kiley told Newsweek.

RELATED: What we know about Las Vegas shooting suspect Stephen Paddock

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Stephen Paddock, 64, allegedly opened fire from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, leaving at least 59 people dead and hundreds injured.

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

He reportedly used a hammer-like tool to break out two windows at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Stephen Paddock was reportedly a high-stakes gambler that lived in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada.

(REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus)

His father was Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, a bank robber and former FBI Most Wanted Fugitive.

(FBI/Handout via REUTERS)

Paddock killed himself before authorities breached his hotel room and investigators say he acted alone.

(REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus)

Paddock's girlfriend, Marilou Danley, was in the Philippines at the time of the shooting but he reportedly used her identification to check in at the Mandalay Bay hotel.

(Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department/Handout via REUTERS)

Stephen Paddock lived in this home in Melbourne, Florida from 2013 to 2015.

(Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)

Police said Paddock had no criminal record.

(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

NBC News reported that Paddock made several large gambling transactions in recent weeks, but that it wasn't clear if they were wins or losses.

(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Paddock reportedly purchased firearms at  Guns & Guitars, a gun shop in Mesquite, Nevada. 

(Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

Paddock's brother, Eric, said his sibling belonged to no political or religious organizations, and had no history of mental illness.

 (Photo by Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Paddock's brother described him as a "wealthy guy" and said he liked to play video poker and go on cruises.

(Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

He worked as an accountant and had real estate investments, according to the Washington Post. 

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Paddock had his pilot license and owned at least one plane, according to Reuters.

(REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)
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