A middle-aged couple have been terrorised by three balaclava-clad bandits during an armed home invasion in the New South Wales Central Hunter region.
Police say the trio forced open the front door of the home on Fourth Street in Weston about 10.30pm on Monday before confronting the 69-year-old male resident and demanding money.
He was assaulted before the group, which was armed with a machete and shotgun, turned on the woman, 52, and also assaulted her.
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After leaving the home with a small amount of cash, a shot was fired into the front door, narrowly missing the woman.
They were seen driving off in a small silver or dark-coloured hatchback.
Ambulance paramedics treated the 69-year-old man for a bruised eye and a swollen jaw and nose, while the woman received cuts and bruises to her face.
A crime scene has been set up and investigations are continuing into the incident which Police say could be a targeted attack.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Maitland Police or Crime Stoppers.