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Zach Anderson, 19, and his parents are fighting to appeal his sentence and have his name removed from the sex offender registry. ABC News(ST. JOSEPH, Mich.) -- When Les and Amanda Anderson went to pick up their son from a county jail in St. Joseph, Michigan, it was the first time they had seen him in two and half months.

“I was thinking just coming up here it’s like he shouldn’t be here,” Les Anderson said. “This, you know, it shouldn’t be happening.”

Since his release last month, their son Zach Anderson’s freedom has been severely restricted because at just 19 years old, Zach is a convicted sex offender.

Zach was arrested last winter after having sex with a girl he met on the dating app “Hot or Not,” who claimed she was 17. But she admitted to police that was a lie. She was really 14.

If he had known she was so young, Zach said, he never would have met her.

“I wouldn't even have gone to her house, like I literally wouldn't have gone to her house at all,” he said.

As a convicted sex offender, the terms of Zach’s probation are incredibly strict. For the next five years, he is forbidden from owning a smart phone or using the Internet. He is not allowed to talk to anyone under age 17, other than immediate family. He is banned from going to any establishment that serves alcohol and he has to be home before 8 p.m. every night.

“They make me out to be a monster,” Zach said. “I can't even look at life regularly.”

His parents say his punishment is cruel and unusual, and they are waging a very public fight, even setting up a Facebook page, hoping to rally support for their son.

Zach graduated high school just last year. Like many teens, he turned to his smart phone to find a date one night. He says he was on the dating app “Hot or Not” for about a week when he started talking to the 14-year-old.

“[She] was actually the first person I had met up with or anything from that,” Zach said. “I had asked her when we were messaging. I said, ‘How old are you?’ And then she had told me 17… I just got out of high school. So it's two years difference. I didn't think that was a big deal or anything.”

The then-14-year-old girl falsely registered on the “adults” section of the dating app. Zach said after they connected, they flirted through text messages and arranged to meet in her hometown of Niles, Michigan, 20 miles across the state line from Zach’s home in Indiana.

“I had been with one other girl before that,” Zach said. “But she was 18, and I was 18, and I kind of just did it to get, you know, to do it, because I was 18.”

Zach picked the then-14-year-old girl up and they drove to a playground in Niles, where they had sex.

Unbeknownst to them, the girl’s mother had called police that night because she thought her daughter was missing. Two months later, detectives showed up at Zach’s job at a mechanic shop.

“I was in the middle of an oil change and my friend who was working there came into the back and was like, ‘There are two detectives here, Zach. They want to talk to you,'” Zach said. “And my hearts pounding like crazy so yeah I knew something was going down. I told my parents that night.”

Zach was arrested and eventually pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. After admitting that she had lied about her age, the now 15-year-old and her mother even testified on Zach’s behalf at his trial.

According to court documents, the girl’s mother told the judge, “I don’t want him to be a sex offender because he really is not.” Her daughter added, “I feel nothing should happen to Zach.”

But the judge condemned what he called a culture of “meet, hook-up, have sex, sayonara, totally inappropriate behavior,” according to court documents. Zach was sentenced to 90 days in jail and ordered to register as a sex offender.

“The hardest part probably for me was to see him being led away, because he turned and looked at us, and it's like, we want to give him a hug, and you don't even have that opportunity,” said his father, Les Anderson.

Zach will be listed on the sex offender registry until 2040. His parents say the label is incredibly unfair.

“We don't see him that way,” Les Anderson said. “If our son's a sex offender, there's a lot of other people on that list like him which dilutes the list, and it almost makes it meaningless.”

Making matters worse, Michigan, where the crime occurred, is a state that does not provide an automatic defense if the victim lies about her age.

“We’re not talking about loosening the law, no one’s indicating that someone who preys on a young adult in a predatory manner shouldn’t be prosecuted, they absolutely should be,” said Zach's attorney Scott Grabel. “This is an instance in my opinion that you rarely get to say the defendant had no criminal intent, and I don’t think the defendant was even negligent in engaging in the encounter.”

Now on probation, Zach is trying to live his life as best he can within the restrictions of his probation. Since he is not allowed to use a computer, his budding career in computer science is now over.

“I could have had a really good career in that, and now I can't do that,” he said. “I can't really have an actual career. I'm going to be working a job, but not doing something I enjoy doing.”

Convicted sex offenders are forbidden from visiting any public park, which eliminated Zach's favorite activity: skateboarding. He also wasn’t allowed to live in his parents’ house because it was 800 feet of a public boat ramp, just shy of the 1,000-foot distance minimum.

“They're forcing him to leave jail, go to a house, and be by yourself, and be lonely basically,” Les Anderson said. “It wasn’t easy to find a place to live either. I mean because of all of the restrictions. You almost cannot live in the city here at all because you have to be so many feet from a school, a church.”

Zach’s parents were forced to dip into their savings for legal fees and to buy Zach a fixer-upper home on the other side of town that met the distance requirement.

Michigan state Sen. Rick Jones, who helped write the state’s sex offender registry law, says Zach should have been more careful.

“As you grow up, I mean young men are told you know in high school, 15 is jailbait,” Jones said. “Now that’s a slang term, but that’s what young men are told … I would hope that somebody who was 19 years old would say ‘Well do you have a driver's license or something? You don’t appear to be the appropriate age.’”

Next week, the Andersons will go back to court to appeal Zach’s sentence. The goal is for Zach to be removed from the sex offender registry. But they say their fight is bigger than their son alone.

“We hope that they stop putting people on the sex offender registry like they're passing out traffic tickets,” Amanda Anderson said. “There are hundreds and hundreds of people that don't deserve to be on that list, and it's supposed to be a safeguard for the community. And instead, they're just publicly shaming these people and our son for life.”

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Hamilton County Sheriff's Office(CINCINNATI) -- Officer Ray Tensing, charged in the shooting death of Sam Dubose, was released from a Cincinnati area prison on Thursday.

Tensing had been on suicide watch until his release at about 6:35 p.m. Thursday. Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Major Charmaine McGuffy said at a press conference outside the jail that Tensing had not received any special treatment. The officer spent his time in protective custody unit and was well-guarded.

Tensing reportedly posted $100,000 cash bond, the standard 10 percent of the $1 million figure set by a judge on Wednesday.

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Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office(CENTENNIAL, Colo.) -- The jury in the James Holmes murder trial went home Friday now without reaching a decision with plans to continue deliberation on Monday.

Jurors were told to arrive at the Arapahoe County Courthouse prepared for a marathon afternoon. On Thursday, the jury received instructions and heard closing arguments from both the defense and the prosecution. The jury is supposed to deliberate on phase two -- whether the defense outweighed how Holmes committed the crime.

If jurors believe the defense has outweighed the manner of the crime, Holmes would receive life in prison. If they do not, a penalty phase would continue with jurors hearing from family and friends of victims and then choosing between life in prison or the death penalty.

The jury made no decision on Thursday, though.

The day in court was briefly interrupted when a woman who told officers she was homeless reportedly yelled out "don't kill him."

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william87/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- It was a rough afternoon for air travel at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Thursday.

Two separate planes were forced to evacuate in separate incidents after an American Airlines flight reported possible smoke in the cabin and a Spirit Airlines flight experienced a fire in one of the landing gear tires. The American Airlines flight from Dallas to Chicago was ready for takeoff when the incident occurred.

“American Airlines Flight 1658, from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) deplaned using emergency exits at gate A14 because of possible smoke in the cabin,” American Airlines said in a statement. “Our fleet service team was still on the ramp and assisted passengers and crew with a successful evacuation of the aircraft.”

The flight was carrying 141 passengers and a crew of five. The airline says three people sustained minor injuries during evacuation. The MD-80 jet is an older model aircraft – one that American is currently phasing out of the fleet.

Firefighters at Dallas Airport also responded to a second airplane — a Spirit Airlines jet that touched down from Orlando with a landing gear tire in flames.

“Upon landing in Dallas, Spirit Airlines’ flight 407 experienced a small fire on one of the landing gear tires, which was quickly extinguished by the DFW Airport’s Fire Department,” Spirit Airlines told ABC News in a statement.

All the passengers deplaned safely and there were no injuries. Spirit says their maintenance team is in the process of repairing the tire.

The causes of both incidents are still under investigation.

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City of Lafayette(LAFAYETTE, La.) — Newly-released surveillance footage shows the Lafayette movie theater gunman buying a ticket just minutes before he killed two people and wounded nine others in a shooting spree at an auditorium showing Trainwreck last week.

The black-and-white security video released Thursday by authorities shows 59-year-old John Russeull Houser, wearing an untucked short-sleeve shirt and shorts, moments before the shooting.

He can be seen purchasing a ticket, walking through The Grand 16 theater's lobby and going down a hallway to the auditorium where he opened fire 20 minutes into a screening of Trainwreck.

Houser, who killed himself, is among three people who died, police said.

The other two were Mayci Breaux, 21, of Franklin, Louisiana, who died at the theater, and Jillian Johnson, 33, of Lafayette, who died at the hospital.

Police said it was apparent Houser "was intent on shooting and escaping" because he left his 1995 blue Lincoln Continental parked near the exit.

After he opened fire on movie-goers, Houser exited the theater through a side door, the Lafayette Police Department said. Houser reloaded his weapon just as an officer arrived at the scene. Houser then re-entered the screening room where he fired his gun again and shot himself, police said.

The security video disputes a witness account previously given to ABC News from a woman who described the shooter as "wearing a hat and a big jacket."

A public information officer for the Lafayette Police Department told ABC News they are aware of the eyewitness' statement, but that she is wrong because he was found entering, walking and then dead in the same untucked shirt and shorts.

There were 300 people in the building at the time of the shooting, police said, and 25 tickets were sold for the movie where the shooting took place.


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Hamilton County Sheriff's Office(CINCINNATI) — Police Officer Ray Tensing, who is accused of murdering Samuel DuBose during a traffic stop in Cincinnati, was arraigned in court Thursday.

Tensing, 25, was indicted Wednesday on one count of murder and one count of voluntary manslaughter for the shooting death of the unarmed DuBose on July 19. If Tensing is convicted on all charges, he faces life in prison.

The University of Cincinnati police officer appeared in court in prison stripes and handcuffs. During the proceedings that lasted just minutes, Judge Megan Shanahan read the two charges and set bond at $1 million, which drew cheers from members of DuBose's family members in court. The outburst prompted a strong rebuke from the judge.

DuBose, 43, was killed during a traffic stop near the University of Cincinnati's campus, authorities said, noting that he was stopped because his car did not have a license plate in the front.

"He’s been crucified since this thing first happened by the whole community without knowing what the evidence is," said Tensing's attorney, Stewart Matthews.

Two videos were released by the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office when the indictment was announced Wednesday. The first shows the shooting from Tensing's body camera. The second video, from the body camera of an arriving officer, shows Tensing lying in the road before he gets up to run toward DuBose's crashed car.

Neither video shows Tensing being dragged as he has told investigators, according to a police report and his radio call. Matthews said he believed a jury would find that Tensing did not overreact during the traffic stop.


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ABC News(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) — An oil sheen showed up in the Pacific Ocean, leaving officials baffled as to what caused it.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department responded to strong smells of gas just before 10 a.m. Wednesday at Goleta Beach and quickly found a large sheen of what appeared to be oil in the ocean, captain David Zaniboni said.

Two kayakers came in from the water with their legs and kayaks covered in the film soon after the crews arrived.

The Coast Guard flew over the sheen in a helicopter yesterday afternoon and determined it covered two square miles, Coast Guard spokeswoman Andrea Anderson told ABC News Thursday.

Zaniboni said the oil sheen is just natural seepage that will eventually spread out and dissipate, however, the Coast Guard isn’t certain that's the case.

“Right now we can’t confirm that’s what it is. We can’t tie it to natural seepage in any definitive way, so we’re still investigating,” Anderson said.

There is a Venoco Oil pipeline in the area, but there have not been any recent incidents at their facilities, ABC station KABC reported.

The film layer is too thin for crews to attempt to remove it from the water, so its size and location will continue to be monitored, according to Anderson.

The Coast Guard, the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Environmental Protection Agency were all called to the beach, Zaniboni said.

This incident is about 20 miles up the coastline from Refugio State Beach, where thousands of gallons of crude oil spilled from a broken pipeline into the Pacific Ocean on May 19.

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Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office(CENTENNIAL, Colo.) -- Arlene Holmes smiled at her son James as she sat down in the witness box Wednesday, stuttering as nerves caused her to misspell her middle name.

But she soon had the courtroom’s attention as she made a desperate bid to save his life as he faces the death penalty for the 2012 Aurora, Colorado massacre.

She revealed how three years ago, her life changed forever when an early morning phone call woke her and her husband and she was told that there had been a mass shooting in a Colorado movie theater.

At first, the Holmes thought their son had been shot; but they were shocked to find out he was actually the one with the guns.

“He never harmed anyone…ever…ever…until July 20, 2012," Arlene Holmes said.

The defendant was convicted of killing 12 people and injuring 70 more that night. The jury is now in the penalty phase deciding whether or not the former neuroscience graduate student should receive life in prison without parole or death by lethal injection.

Arlene Holmes, who has only missed two days of the three-and-a-half month trial, appeared to blame the psychiatrist who saw her son seven times from March 2012 until about a month before the shooting.

Dr. Lynne Fenton was treating James Holmes for social anxiety when he abruptly left her care and quit the University of Colorado on June 11. Concerned, the psychiatrist called Arlene Holmes that same day to let her know that her son had quit school, but did not tell her that James had confided to her his thoughts of killing people three to four times a day.

“Do you wish she had?” asked public defender Rebekka Higgs.

“Of course,” Arlene Holmes’ voice broke. “We wouldn’t be sitting here if she would have told me that...He never said he wanted to kill people. She didn’t tell me. She didn’t tell me. She didn’t tell me.”

Reaction among the jury ranged from what appeared to be sadness to no emotion at all as home movies played showing a young defendant in happier times.

The gallery, which is often crowded, has been almost empty during this mitigation phase. Families who have shown up during this time bring books and crossword puzzles to keep their minds off of the humanization of the man many of them call a “monster.”

On Thursday, the jury will deliberate to decide whether the mitigating factors will prevail, meaning James Holmes would get life without parole. But if the jury believes the horrors of the murders outweigh his Americana upbringing, they will then enter a third phase during which they will decide if he should get the death penalty.

Arlene Holmes’ husband, Bob, testified before her, telling the court in a soft-spoken voice that their son was an “excellent kid.”

But District Attorney George Brauchler pointed out that Bob Holmes rarely emailed or called his son, and couldn’t remember that as an 8-year-old, his behavior was so severe that they took him to multiple therapy sessions.

When the jury found him guilty, the nine women and three men soundly rejected James Holmes’ insanity plea.

Still, Arlene Holmes hopes her testimony will sway them not to kill her son.

“Schizophrenia chose him. He didn’t choose it,” she told them. “And I still love my son. I still do.”

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YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images(LAFAYETTE, La.) -- A teacher who survived a shooting at a movie theater in Louisiana last week described taking a bullet to protect her friend as she feared the gunman would kill her.

Jena Meaux shed tears at times as she spoke to thousands gathered for a prayer service Wednesday night. She was among nine people wounded when John Houser opened fire at a showing of Trainwreck at the Grand 16 Theatre in Lafayette, Louisiana, last week, killing two women before he killed himself.

"We instantly got down on the ground, and that's when I felt a bullet go through the side of my leg and exit the other side of my leg," she told the crowd.

Meaux said she immediately began crawling for the exit.

"As I crawled I was praying, because I really thought he was going to shoot me in the back of the head," she said.

Meaux said she eventually reached the exit, stood up and ran off.

"So many people are looking at the evil that was in the theater that night, but I saw so many instances of God's presence," she said. "He protected and spared my life, and that just tells me that he's not finished with me yet."

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U.S. Geological Survey(EVERGLADES CITY, Fla.) — A massive female Burmese python — 18 feet 3 inches long and 133 pounds heavy -- was recently discovered and caught in the Everglades National Park in Florida, according to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) officials.

The "big gal" is not a record-breaker, though she's only three inches shy of the longest python documented in Florida, USGS deputy public affairs officer Catherine Puckett told ABC News today.

The giant snake, which is an invasive species, was found along Shark Valley, a tram road in the Everglades, by a permitted python researcher who regularly works in the national park, USGS Chief of Biological Services Tylan Dean told ABC News.

"It was humanely euthanized in accordance with our standard protocol," he said. "Prior to euthanasia, we conducted training with some of the NPS (National Park Service) and USGS interns who work on invasive species control projects, including python removal, to help them gain confidence and experience handling large snakes, and the photo was taken during that training."

He added that the "best news about this event is that this snake has been removed from the wild, which helps protect the diverse wildlife we have in Everglades National Park."

A necropsy of the python confirmed the snake was a female that had not reproduced this season and that its stomach was empty, Dead said, explaining that there were no unusual findings.

"We expect to occasionally encounter large pythons in this size range as we continue python removal efforts, though most pythons that we encounter are smaller," he said.

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FBI(MASON CITY, Iowa) -- A man dubbed the "AK-47 Bandit," who the FBI says shot a police officer after robbing a bank three years ago, has struck again.

The FBI released photos of the man robbing a credit union in Mason City, Iowa, on Tuesday. Armed with his signature AK-47, the man drove off with an undisclosed amount of cash and left behind a device that the bomb squad later said was safe.

The FBI said the man shot and wounded an officer in Chino, California, in 2012 following a bank robbery. He has been linked to four other bank robberies across several states.

A reward of up to $100,000 is being offered for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

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Palm Beach County Sheriff(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- Police are looking for the public's help in identifying the sixth victim believed to have been killed by the Happy Face murderer, authorities said.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said the victim was likely from Florida or Nevada and named Suzy, Suzanne or Susan.

The killer, Keith Hunter Jesperson, claimed that he killed the woman but did not provide accurate details of the killing, in the Florida Panhandle, police said.

In 2014, the county's forensic imaging specialist Paul Moody worked with Jesperson to come up with a sketch of the victim.

They then used that, superimposed on the skull found with the remains to generate a 3-D image of the woman.

The sheriff's office also released a video in which they interviewed investigators on the case.

"The killer says this is her," the caption on the video reads. "Now, we need your help to identify this Jane Doe and bring closure to the family and friends connected to her."

The victim's body was found decomposed over 21 years ago, police said.

Jesperson, who is serving life in prison, killed eight women from 1990-1995.

The mystery victim is believed to be the sixth.

"You could help solve a mystery that has haunted my investigators for over 21 years," police said.

Palm Beach County has no connection to the case aside from the fact that Moody's services are being used by the Florida Division of Law Enforcement in helping to determine the identity of the victim.

Jesperson became known as the "Happy Face Killer" for smiley faces he would leave on notes at crime scenes.

His murderous spree went unnoticed until he turned himself in.

“We are secondary crime victims. We carry that shame and we want to remove that,” his daughter Melissa Moore told ABC News. “I feel in a sense I am related to my father, but I didn’t cause the pain. But knowing that my father caused some pain causes me pain.”

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Hamilton County Sheriff's Office(CINCINNATI) -- A police officer indicted for murder "felt his life was in jeopardy" when he fatally shot a man during a traffic stop in Cincinnati earlier this month, his attorney told ABC News.

An arraignment was scheduled Thursday morning for Ray Tensing, who was indicted on murder and voluntary manslaughter charges in the shooting death of Samuel DuBose. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

"He’s been crucified since this thing first happened by the whole community without knowing what the evidence is," said his attorney, Stewart Matthews.

Matthews described Tensing, 25, as a man who only wanted to be a police officer and who sobbed when he learned he was being indicted.

"This is all he's ever wanted to do," he said. "His head just sank to the table. We were sitting around and his family -- mother, father and aunt -- were there with us and it just devastated all of them."

Tensing worked for the University of Cincinnati Police Department for the last year and a half, said Matthews. He was fired Wednesday when the indictment was announced.

DuBose, 43, was killed during a traffic stop on July 19 near the University of Cincinnati's campus, authorities said, noting that he was stopped because his car did not have a license plate in the front.

DuBose apparently refused to provide a driver's license, produced an open alcohol bottle and a struggle ensued, during which Tensing was knocked to the ground and fired one shot into DuBose's head, according to police.

Two videos were released by the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office when the indictment was announced Wednesday. The first shows the shooting from Tensing's body camera. The second video, from the body camera of an arriving officer, shows Tensing lying in the road before he gets up to run toward DuBose's crashed car.

Neither video shows Tensing being dragged as he has told investigators, according to a police report and his radio call. Matthews said he believed a jury would find that Tensing did not overreact during the traffic stop.

"He felt like his life was in jeopardy and that’s why the shot was fired," Matthews said.

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Ivan Kmit/iStock/ThinkStock(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) -- A 911 call dispatcher at the Albuquerque Fire Department has resigned after audio was released from a recent emergency call in which he told a teen, who called to report her friend had been shot, to "deal with it yourself" before abruptly hanging up.

This past June 26, Esperanza Quintero, 17, made a 911 call after her friend Jaydon Chavez-Silver, also 17, was shot in a drive-by shooting at a house party, the Albuquerque Police Department told ABC News Wednesday.

Matthew Sanchez, the dispatcher who answered the call, can be heard repeatedly asking if the victim is breathing in audio obtained by ABC News.

Quintero, who can be heard in the audio soothing her friend and telling him to "stay with me" in the call, said she got "frustrated" after Sanchez kept asking the same questions "over and over and over again," ABC News affiliate KOAT-TV reported.

After asking if her friend was breathing again, Quintero replies, "He's barely breathing. How many times do I have to f****** tell you?"

"OK, you know what ma'am? You could deal with it yourself," Sanchez responds. "I'm not going to deal with this, OK?

"No, my friend is dying," Quintero responds before the dispatcher seems to hang up and the audio cuts off.

Melissa Romero, a spokeswoman for the fire department told ABC News today that "the dispatcher did dispatch units prior to disconnect" and that the "response time was four minutes and 26 seconds, which exceeds national standards."

Chavez-Silver was taken to a hospital, where he later succumbed to his wounds and died, police public information officer Tanner Tixier told ABC News today. A homicide investigation is ongoing, and though no suspects have been arrested in connection with the drive-by shooting, police are following up on numerous leads, he added.


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lofilolo/iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) -- Walter Palmer, the American dentist who admitted to killing Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, recently sent out a letter to the patients of River Bluff Dental, his Bloomington, Minnesota, dental practice that remained closed with the shades down as of Wednesday afternoon.

Palmer's letter to his patients sent via email Tuesday night began by explaining his hobby of hunting, which he referred to as "one of my passions outside dentistry."

"To my valued patients: As you may have already heard, I have been in the news over the last few days for reasons that have nothing to do with my profession or the care I provide for you," he wrote. "I've been a life-long hunter since I was a child growing up in North Dakota. I don't often talk about hunting with my patients because it can be a divisive and emotionally charged topic. I understand and respect that not everyone shares the same views on hunting."

Palmer then explained his involvement in the killing of Cecil the lion, almost exactly worded like the statement he released Tuesday. He explained he was in Zimbabwe during early July on a bow hunting trip for big game and that he "hired several professional guides and they secured all proper permits."

He continued, "To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted. I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt. I have not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or in the U.S. about this situation, but will assist them in any inquiries they may have."

"Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion," he added. "That was never my intention."

A small, growing memorial to Cecil remained outside Palmer's dental office today including stuffed animals, a flower, and a sign that read, "You are a coward and a killer! :-("

Palmer also explained he was receiving a "substantial number of comments and calls from people who are angered by this situation and by the practice of hunting in general," that "disrupted our business and our ability to see our patients."

He apologized for the inconvenience, adding that "we will do our best to resume normal operations as soon as possible" and that they were working with patients with immediate needs to be referred to other dentists.


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