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Florida Man Fatally Shoots Son-In-Law During Surprise Birthday Visit

NBC News/YouTube

Florida strikes again for absurd situations.

Richard Dennis, a 62-year-old man from Gulf Breeze, Florida will not face charges after accidentally shooting his 37 year-old son-in-law, Christopher Bergan.

Bergan was shot when he jumped out to yell “surprise!” after flying in from Norway to visit his father-in-law for the man’s birthday.

Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said:

“You can’t really say anything against Mr. Dennis for doing what he did. I think it was just a horrible accident that should never have happened.”

Dennis said the fear was borne after a verbal altercation with another relative who had been banging on the door.

Dennis showed up to the door armed with a gun and fatally shot Bergan in the chest, killing him instantly.

Bergan and his wife, Dennis’ daughter, had previously lived with Dennis before moving to Norway.

The Sheriff said:

“Anybody who’s religious out there you need to pray for this family because I can’t imagine what they’re going through.” 

This death is calling into question the validity of gun rights advocates’ “more guns is safer” argument, with many pointing out how this death so easily could have not happened.

The family has made no comment at this time.

Anyone who owns or plans to own a gun should understand gun safety, like always knowing what or who you’re shooting at. The DVD Firearms Safety Education for All Ages is available here.


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Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.