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Man accidentally shoots and kills son-in-law in birthday surprise gone wrong

3 years 3 months 3 weeks ago Friday, October 04 2019 Oct 4, 2019 October 04, 2019 12:05 PM October 04, 2019 in News
Source: BBC

FLORIDA - A tragic mistake has taken the life of a man who only wanted to surprise his father-in-law on his birthday.

Christopher Bergan, a native of Norway, made his way to Gulf Breeze, Florida on Tuesday night. He planned to surprise his father-in-law, Richard Dennis, by showing up unexpectedly on the his birthday. 

However, when Bergan turned up at Dennis's home, Dennis didn't recognize his son-in-law and, acting out of fear, accidentally shot and killed the younger man.

Earlier that evening, Dennis argued with a confrontational family member who'd banged on his front door. When Bergan later pounded on Dennis's door in the same manner, the 61-year-old allegedly believed his angry relative had returned.
Santa Rosa County Sheriff, Bob Johnson spoke at a news conference regarding the incident, saying, "I'm not going to second guess Mr. Dennis for what he did. Here he is, he had just had a confrontation at the front of his house."

Johnson went on to say the elderly man was "totally startled" when Bergan jumped out, and explained that Bergan allegedly made a "growling" noise when he revealed himself. 

The Sheriff called the incident, "totally accidental" and confirmed that Dennis will not be charged. 

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