A man accidentally shot and killed his son-in-law who had jumped out of a bush to surprise him on his birthday, US police said.

Richard Dennis, 61, will not face criminal charges after killing Christopher Bergan in Florida on Tuesday.

The 37-year-old victim made a growling sound before he jumped out to surprise Mr Dennis, the police said.

Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson called the shooting “totally accidental”.

He added that earlier in the evening someone had banged on the front door of Mr Dennis’ house in Gulf Breeze, outside of Pensacola.

The banging was said to have shocked Mr Dennis, who went outside before the person ran off.

Mr Bergan arrived at the home around two hours later, according to the sheriff.