Man shot dead after trying to surprise father-in-law


A man has been shot dead by his father-in-law after he jumped out of the bushes to surprise him for his birthday.

Christopher Bergan had flown from Norway to Florida to surprise his father-in-law Richard Dennis.

Local police said Bergan had sneaked into Dennis' backyard and pounded on the backdoor before hiding in the bushes at around 11:30 pm on Tuesday.

But, alarmed by the noise, Dennis stepped out with a gun in his hands and instantly fired when he saw someone spring from the bushes - before realising it was his son-in-law.

The bullet hit Bergan "straight in the heart," Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said, killing the 37-year-old instantly.

Authorities are calling the shooting a "tragic accident" and confirmed they wouldn't pursue criminal charges against Dennis.

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