After a man slaughtered 59 people and wounded more than 500 others from a Las Vegas hotel room, a Chicago-based priest was asked to bless the room, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
It seemed like a strange request, but regardless, the Rev. Clete Kiley took a glass of water and a palm branch from a tree in the lobby and trekked up to the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, the Sun-Times reported. The union members who worked at the hotel were traumatized and terrified to go back to that floor.
It was eerie and still, Kiley had said.
“As we opened the temporary door installed to seal the crime scene, I have to say it felt like I was pushed back — as if to keep me from entering,” he told the Sun-Times. “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.’”
The hallway was still littered with plaster from the walls where bullets had hit, and broken light fixtures still lay on the floor. The broken windows in the room were covered, and there was a mark on the floor where the shooter had died. There was no blood — but all the carpeting had been removed.
He then blessed each corner of the suite, each bullet he saw and each room back down the hall on the 32nd floor.