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Son-In-Law Shot Dead Whilst Trying To Surprise Father-In-Law For His Birthday

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Son-In-Law Shot Dead Whilst Trying To Surprise Father-In-Law For His Birthday

A man from Florida accidentally shot his son-in-law dead after he leapt out of a bush to surprise him for his birthday, according to the local sheriff.

Christopher Bergan had travelled all the way back to the United States from his home in Norway in order to spring out and deliver a birthday surprise to his father-in-law, Richard Dennis.

However, instead of being pleasantly surprised, Dennis fired one shot at his son in law - although he didn't know it was him - and killed him instantly.

The local sheriff told reporters that the whole incident was nothing more than a 'horrible accident'. Dennis, 61, will not face charges for his actions.

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The tragic event started off when Bergan flew home from Norway and arrived at an airport in Florida at around 11pm on Tuesday night.

Credit: Facebook
Credit: Facebook

Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson told a news conference on Thursday that Bergan then jumped into a taxi and headed straight off to visit his dad-in-law at his house, which is in the state's Pensacola area.

Thinking that he'd spring an hilarious surprise, Bergan started to bang on the back door of the house at about 11:30pm, which alerted Dennis to his presence.

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However, the noise startled Dennis and, when Bergan jumped out of the bushes and started to make a growling sound, which further scared him, Dennis quickly fired off one shot 'striking Mr. Bergan, killing him instantly'.

The sheriff added that another of Dennis' relatives had been over to the house at about 9:30pm that same evening and had been banging on the door of his house in a very similar manner to that employed by Bergan.

That had also startled Dennis, who had engaged in a verbal row with the relative before they left.

Sheriff Johnson said 'no charges are warranted', and re-iterated his belief that this whole thing is just a 'horrible accident'.

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He added: "Anybody who is religious out there, you need to pray for this family.

"I can't imagine what they're going through... it's horrible."

Sheriff Bob Johnson. Credit: ABC News
Sheriff Bob Johnson. Credit: ABC News

Bergan had been a resident in Florida before moving to Norway with his wife, Dennis' daughter. Once Dennis realised what he'd done, he called the emergency services.

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Sheriff Johnson continued: "They were working on him when our officers got there, and our officers got there pretty quick,

"Our investigation has revealed that this was totally accidental.

"It was a really sad occurrence, and that no charges are warranted in this case."

According to data from Giffords Law Center, 36,000 Americans are killed with guns each year. Around 487 of those deaths are the result of accidents.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Christopher Bergan

Topics: US News, Weird

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