Richard Dennis left the porch of his house Tuesday night to see who had knocked on the back door, when a man jumped "from the shadows" and roared as he left the bushes where he had hidden.
What he did not know in the heat of the moment was that he knew the subject he had just shot and now lay lifeless on the side of his house. He was his son-in-law Christopher Bergan, a 37-year-old man, and had wanted to surprise him for his birthday.
Bergan had just arrived from Norway, where he had gone to live, and the first thing he did after leaving the Florida airport was to travel to his father-in-law's house in the Penascola area to congratulate him, said the sheriff of Santa Rosa County, Bob Johnson, according to the USA Today newspaper.RELATED
Dennis, 61, was scared when his son-in-law came out from the bushes roaring and shot him a round that "hit Mr. Bergan, killing him instantly," Johnson said. The .380 caliber bullet of the semi-automatic weapon he carried pierced his heart.
The sheriff said that that night, before the incident, a relative of Dennis had come to touch him at home and had engaged in an argument that left him upset.
Johnson did not press charges against Bergan, claiming it had been a "horrible accident."
“I am not going to question what Mr. Dennis did. Here it is, you just had an altercation at the entrance of your house. A few hours later someone knocks on the back door, and it is a fenced yard, ”said the sheriff. “And then someone jumps from the bushes. You really can't say anything against Mr. Dennis for what he did. ”
“Anyone who is religious out there needs to pray for this family. I can't imagine what they're going through … it's horrible, ”Johnson added.
Bergan, who was married to Dennis' daughter, had lived in Florida, before moving to Norway, the sheriff said, according to ABC.
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