Authorities said the Florida man who shot his son-in-law, who jumped out of a bush to make a birthday surprise, will not be prosecuted.
Christopher Bergan, 37, arrived in Florida from Norway on Tuesday night to surprise his wife’s father, Richard Dennis, 61, Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said at a press conference on Thursday.
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The sheriff called the shooting “completely random,” saying it was preceded by an unrelated incident at around 9:30 pm. the night a relative hit Dennis on the door. According to the sheriff, the blow struck Dennis, who went outside and fled.
About two hours later, Bergan arrived at the Gulf Breeze home outside Pensacola to surprise his father-in-law, the sheriff said.
“At 11:30, Mr. Dennis hears a knock on the back door of the same type as before,” the sheriff said. “So he turns on the back porch light, walks out, and Mr. Bergan jumps out of the shadows, frightening Mr. Dennis.”
Bergan made a growling sound as he jumped out of the bushes, the sheriff said, citing a police report.