Man Accidentally Shoots Son-in-Law Who Was Trying to Pull Off Birthday Surprise

The shooting was an accident.

The man, Richard Dennis, will not be charged in connection with the shooting.

What was supposed to be a birthday celebration ended in tragedy when a man accidentally shot his son-in-law who was trying to surprise him.

Christopher Bergan, who lives in Norway, flew in to to visit his father-in-law, Richard Dennis, in Pensacola, Florida, where he used to live, on Tuesday.

Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said Bergan arrived at Dennis’ home at 11:30 p.m. and banged on the back door, and when Dennis came out, Bergan jumped out of the bushes, startling Dennis, who shot him once, killing Bergan instantly.

"Anybody who is religious out there, you need to pray for this family,” Johnson said at a press conference. "I can't imagine what they're going through ... it's horrible.”

Johnson noted that earlier that evening another family member had come banging on Dennis’ front door and startled him. They had a verbal altercation before the relative left, police said.

Police said they will not file charges and called what happened a “horrible accident.”