Florida man accidentally shot dead son-in-law who jumped out of bush to surprise him2 min read

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Florida man accidentally shot dead his son-in-law who traveled from Norway and then jumped out of a bush to surprise him for his birthday

  • Richard Dennis opened fire on Christopher Bergan, 37, in Pensacola on Tuesday
  • Bergan, who is married to Dennis’ daughter, had flown in from Norway and gone straight to his father-in-law’s house to surprise him for his birthday 
  • Dennis heard someone banging on his backdoor at around 11.30pm
  • He turned on the porch light before Bergan leapt ‘out of the shadows’
  • Dennis fired one shot that struck Bergan in the chest, killing him instantly
  • Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said Dennis will not face charges, calling the incident a ‘horrible accident’ 
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A Florida man shot and killed his son-in-law after the victim jumped out of the bushes to surprise him for his birthday.

Richard Dennis opened fire on Christopher Bergan, 37, outside his house in Pensacola on Tuesday night in what police described as a ‘horrible accident’. 

Dennis will not face charges for the incident, Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson announced at a Thursday news conference.  

Johnson said Bergan, who is married to Dennis’ daughter and lives in Norway, arrived at a Florida airport on Tuesday evening and went straight to his father-in-law’s home. 

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Dennis, who was unaware of Bergan’s arrival, heard someone banging on his backdoor at around 11.30pm.  

He turned on the porch light before Bergan leapt ‘out of the shadows’, making a growling sound as he emerged from a bush. 

Startled by the ambush, Dennis fired one shot that struck Bergan in the chest, killing him instantly. 

Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said at a news conference on Thursday that Richard Dennis will not be charged after accidentally shooting his son-in-law

 Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said at a news conference on Thursday that Richard Dennis will not be charged after accidentally shooting his son-in-law

Johnson noted that earlier in the night another one of Dennis’ relatives had come to his home and banged on the front door in a similar manner. 

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The pair got in a verbal altercation before the relative left at about 9.30pm.

The sheriff said no charges were warranted in the shooting, adding that it ‘never should have happened’. 

‘Anybody who is religious out there, you need to pray for this family,’ Johnson said. 

‘I can’t imagine what they’re going through… it’s horrible.’ 

Neighbors said they were shocked to hear about the incident. 

Bergan was married to Dennis’ daughter, and had lived in Florida before they moved to his native Norway. 

 

 

 

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