A man was moments away from death early Saturday morning when he was injured with a machete during a wild brawl outside a Wangaratta home.
The 42-year-old remained in a critical condition in hospital with life-threatening head injuries on Saturday.
Wangaratta Sergeant Tim Hart said five men were involved in a brawl on White Street about 12.30am, where it is believed multiple weapons were produced.
He said paramedics were able to bring the 42-year-old back from the point of death as they treated him at the crime scene before he could be taken to Wangaratta Hospital.
Police quickly arrested two men around the corner on Higgins Street, taking them and a third man to hospital for injuries sustained in the brawl.
We heard the racket ... They were just fighting, and yelling and screaming.
The men aged 23, 37 and 46 remained in hospital under police guard in Saturday.
A crime scene was set up outside the White Street home where a bloodied pillow, towels, various pieces of clothing and other items remained from the aftermath of the brawl.
A small section of the road was completely blocked off to traffic.
Sergeant Hart said police were still looking for a fifth man they believed was also involved in the brawl, but fled before emergency services arrived.
“We’re still looking for other weapons involved,” he said.
“The suggestion was there was more than one machete.”
It is believed the offenders were known to each other and police.
Neighbours woken by the noise were saddened, but not surprised that violence in the area had this result.
They were too scared to leave their homes to see what had occurred until police arrived.
“We been waiting for it to happen, really,” one man said.
“We heard the racket, that was all. They were just fighting, and yelling and screaming.”
His wife said it was a tragedy it got to a point where someone had nearly lost his life and a family could have been grieving.
“It’s been a volcano waiting to erupt and it has.”
“Is this going to be a wake-up call or is it not?”
Police have asked witnesses or anyone with information to come forward by calling Wangaratta police on (03) 5723 0888 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.