Florida man fatally shoots son-in-law who was trying to surprise him for his birthday
A Florida man who shot and killed his son-in-law who jumped out of a bush to surprise him for his birthday will not face criminal charges, authorities said.
Christopher Bergan, 37, had arrived in Florida from Norway on Tuesday night to surprise his wife's father, Richard Dennis, 61, Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said at a news conference Thursday.
The sheriff called the shooting "totally accidental," saying it was preceded by an unrelated incident at about 9:30 p.m. that night when a relative banged on Dennis’ front door. The banging startled Dennis, who went outside and ran the person off, the sheriff said.
About two hours later, Bergan arrived at the home in Gulf Breeze outside of Pensacola to surprise his father-in-law, according to the sheriff.
“At 11:30, Mr. Dennis hears the same type of banging on the back door that he heard on the front door earlier,” the sheriff said. “So he turns on the back porch light, he steps out and Mr. Bergan jumps out of the shadows, scaring Mr. Dennis.”
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