A 61-year-old man, Richard Dennis, has mistakenly shot and killed his son-in-law, Christopher Bergan, when a birthday prank went horribly wrong on Tuesday night in Florida, United States.
According to the police, earlier that Tuesday night, another one of Dennis’ relatives came to his home at 9:30 p.m. and started banging on his front door. The two got into a verbal altercation before the relative left.
Two hours later, Bergan, who flew all the way from Norway to surprise Dennis on his birthday, arrived at the Gulf Breeze home in Florida around 11:30 pm, and started banging on his back door, then hid behind bushes to surprise his father-in-law.
On hearing the knock, Dennis took his 380 caliber semi-automatic pistol, flipped on the porch light and walked out to see who it was.
As Dennis looked for the source of the noise, Bergan jumped out of the bushes while making a “growling sound,” startling his father-in-law.
Dennis fired a gunshot, hitting his son-in-law in the heart and instantly killing him.
Dennis and Bergan’s unidentified friend, who had picked him up from the airport, called 911 and started first aid, according to police.
By the time emergency officials arrived, police say Dennis already had towels on his son-in-law’s body in an attempt to stop the bleeding.
“Investigation has revealed that this was totally accidental,” Police said. “It was a really sad occurrence.”
Further investigation found the shooting to be “totally accidental,” and no charges are expected to be filed.