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No charges for Florida man who mistakenly killed son-in-law, sheriff says

Christopher Bergan was married to Dennis’ daughter and they had flown in from Norway to surprise him for his birthday.
Santa Rosa Sheriff Bob Johnson said during a news conference that the shooting happened late Tuesday at the home of 61-year-old Richard Dennis. [Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office/Facebook]

GULF BREEZE, Fla. — Investigators say a Florida man won’t face charges after accidentally shooting and killing his son-in-law who had jumped out of the bushes during a surprise birthday visit.

Santa Rosa Sheriff Bob Johnson said during a news conference that the shooting happened late Tuesday at the home of 61-year-old Richard Dennis.

Johnson says 37-year-old Christopher Bergan was married to Dennis’ daughter and they had flown in from Norway to surprise him for his birthday.

Authorities say Bergan had banged on Dennis’ door and jumped out when Dennis answered, prompting Dennis to fatally shoot him.

Dennis says he thought the banging noise was from another relative he had gotten into an argument with earlier in the day.

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