Christopher Bergan traveled from Norway to Gulf Breeze, Florida to surprise Richard Dennis, his father-in-law, for his 61st birthday. However, a tragic twist thwarted the man’s plan, states Ashley Boucher of celebrity and human interest news platform People. Bergan jumped out from the bushes upon Dennis’s arrival, startling the 61-year-old, who fatally shot his son-in-law, as he thought he was an intruder.
The incident occurred on Tuesday, October 1, authorities said. 37-year-old Bergan, who is married to Dennis’ daughter and a resident of Norway, arrived in Florida around 11 p.m. and went straight to his father-in-law’s house, according to authorities. The 37-year-old reportedly lived in Florida before returning to Norway.
|Photo Credit: ABC News (via Mirror)|
County Sheriff Bob Johnson explains in a press conference on Thursday, October 3 that another relative arrived at Dennis’s house two hours before Bergan went to his house. The relative pounded on the front door, which alarmed Dennis. He and the family member got into a “verbal altercation." Johnson says, “At 11:30, Mr. Dennis hears the same type of banging on the back door that he heard on the front door earlier.”
He turned on the back porch light and stepped out. That was when Bergan jumped out and scared Dennis. Dennis fired one shot, killing his son-in-law instantly. He was “totally startled” when Bergen appeared out of the blue. Bergan allegedly mustered a “growling” noise when his father-in-law revealed himself. Dennis’ bullet— shot from a 380 semi-automatic gun— “went straight to [Bergan’s] heart.”
|Photo Credit: Chris Bergan/Facebook (via People)|
Dennis called 911 as soon as he realized what he had done. Those at the scene rushed to help stop the bleeding. Bergan’s friend, who drove the man to the airport, also witnessed the tragic event. Johnson notes, “Our investigation has revealed that this was totally accidental.” Johnson told reporters, “It was a really sad occurrence, and that no charges are warranted in this case.” The County Sheriff adds that it was just a “horrible accident that should never have happened.”