National Briefs

Police: Gunman who killed 4 at car wash on life support

A man opened fire and killed four people at a car wash early Sunday morning in Pennsylvania, while another woman suffered only minor injuries after she hid in the back seat of a truck during the shooting, state police said.

Police said suspected shooter Tim Smith was on life support at a hospital after the shooting at Ed’s Car Wash around 3 a.m. in the Melcroft community of Saltlick Township, about 55 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

They said he killed 27-year-old William Porterfield, 25-year-old Chelsie Cline, 23-year-old Courtney Snyder and 21-year-old Seth Cline.

Police earlier said that a fifth person was pronounced dead at a hospital, but they announced at a late afternoon news conference that the shooter remained on life support.

The survivor was not shot and suffered only minor injuries, they said.

Police said they were not able to speak with Smith at the hospital and they did not say whether Smith knew the victims. Family members of the victims told WPXI-TV that the shooting was the result of a domestic dispute. They claim the shooter was a man who used to date one of the victims.

Cayleigh Myers said she was friends with Seth Cline and described the construction worker as “very outgoing, very funny and very smart.”

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio fires chief of staff

WASHINGTON (AP) — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio announced that he fired his chief of staff after getting reports of “improper conduct” with subordinate staffers.

The statement from Rubio’s office was released Saturday evening. His office did not respond to requests for details on Sunday.

“I had sufficient evidence to conclude that while employed by this office, my Chief of Staff had violated office policies regarding proper relations between a supervisor and their subordinates. I further concluded that this led to actions which in my judgment amounted to threats to withhold employment benefits,” Rubio said in a statement.

Rubio’s office said it “will not be disclosing any further details about the incidents which occurred” at the wishes of those victimized.

Rubio said his office will notify appropriate congressional and Senate administrative offices of the matter today.

The announcement made no mention of the chief of staff’s name. However, a press release on Rubio’s website dated December 2016 said identified Clint Reed as Rubio’s newly appointed chief of staff.

“For over a year, I’ve gotten to know and work closely with Clint on my campaigns, including two in Florida. He’s a superb manager who loves Florida, has earned my trust, and relishes the challenge of solving tough problems,” Rubio wrote at the time.

Reed, who describes himself on social media as Rubio’s chief of staff, did not return a call or a Facebook message for comment.

Indiana teaching assistant accused of molesting 17 kids

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — An 18-year-old southern Indiana man has been arrested on charges alleging he molested 17 children ages 3 to 7 while he worked at a YMCA and as an elementary school teaching assistant.

Michael Begin Jr., of Jeffersonville, was charged with two counts of child molestation in October. Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said Friday that he was filing another 20 counts against him.

“It’s possible there are other victims that we’re not aware of yet,” Mull said.

Authorities say they received reports of more victims after Begin was initially charged. Begin pleaded not guilty to the original charges. His attorney, Jennifer Culotta, says Begin maintains his innocence.

Some victims say they were molested more than once. The abuse allegedly occurred at a YMCA and at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Jeffersonville.

YMCA of Greater Louisville President and CEO Steve Tarver says Begin has been fired. A Greater Clark County Schools representative referred questions to police.

According to court records, the investigation began Sept. 25 when police received reports of a 5-year-old girl being molested at the YMCA. The girl reportedly told her mother that Begin “wouldn’t stop putting his hand down her pants while they were on the playground outside.”

On Oct. 17, police received reports of two first-graders being molested at Thomas Jefferson Elementary. The two children told their parents that Begin fondled them, and surveillance video captured footage of Begin molesting one of them, according to court records.