Two brothers shot after alleged Mother’s Day family feud
A WOMAN watched on as her stepson allegedly shot her son before turning the rifle on himself in a horrific domestic dispute which erupted as the family was celebrating Mother's Day.
The stepbrothers, aged 35 and 28, were both taken to John Hunter Hospital in critical conditions on Sunday afternoon, although one has since improved to serious but stable.
Police said the older brother had arrived at the family's rental property at Bingleburra, a rural community near Dungog, before an argument began between the pair about midday.
The brawl, which occurred in front of their mother and several children, was stopped before the younger man is alleged to have walked inside the house and grabbed a .22 calibre rifle.
Witnesses have told police he walked up to his stepbrother and shot him in the abdomen at close range before running off.
An ambulance was called for the older brother before passers-by found the younger man lying critically injured on nearby Bingleburra Rd.
He was suffering from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Both men were stabilised on scene by paramedics before being flown to John Hunter Hospital in separate helicopters where they remained in critical conditions and were due to undergo surgery.
The condition of the older brother, who was shot in his abdomen, later improved to serious but stable.
It is understood the younger man had lived at the rental property with his stepmother and other family members.
The alleged victim had travelled the 90km from his home on Tanilba Bay, at Port Stephens, to spend Mother's Day with his mum.
It is believed the argument occurred not long after the man arrived.
It was unclear on Sunday night exactly what sparked the argument, although sources have told The Daily Telegraph it was described as being petty.
Port Stephens-Hunter detectives and crime scene experts remained at the property on Sunday night.