A shotgun was fired to stop a violent attack on a Bay of Plenty family by a hoard of gatecrashers who arrived at a family gathering armed with pieces of wood.
A father was smashed in the face with a piece of wood during the attack at his family's Te Puna home on Friday night.
The man and two of his adult sons were taken to Tauranga Hospital with suspected broken bones.
Armed police were called to the incident and the area was closed off for several hours.
It is understood the sons had been drinking by a shed on their driveway about 11.30pm when they were approached by a couple of young men in a car asking after an unknown person.
When told that person was not there, the young men said they would be back. A minute or two later they returned and a fight broke out.
Neighbours in the area woke to the altercation and sensor alarms alerted them someone had come over their fence.
Windows from two vehicles parked in the driveway were smashed and a hole was smashed in the shed's wall.
The offenders fled but it is thought they travelled to a party in nearby Lochhead Rd before returning once more. This time they were armed and had brought "reinforcements".
Police were yesterday unable to confirm if any arrests had been made.
The family declined to comment.