Scottsdale police are trying to determine whether a woman was justified in shooting her older brother to protect her younger brother.
Sam Stewart, 50, was in critical condition at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn hospital Friday after Marion Stewart, 49, shot him in the head, police said.
She had been living temporarily at the home of her brother, Jack Stewart, 48.
"There is a possibility in this case that it was in defense of her brother’s life," said police Sgt. Mark Clark. "We’re not even sure if it’s a criminal act."
The three siblings have had an ongoing legal battle over their deceased mother’s Phoenix home, he said.
Sam Stewart, whose last address is listed in Glendale, showed up unexpectedly at his brother’s house in the 11000 block of North 74th Street and the two got into a fight about 12:20 a.m., Clark said.
After Sam Stewart attacked his brother, Marion Stewart believed her younger brother’s life was in danger and grabbed her handgun from inside the home, he said.
"There’s no dispute that she shot her brother," Clark said.
Police also are investigating whether Sam Stewart may have made a threat with a gun before the shooting.
No arrests have been made, and Jack and Marion Stewart are cooperating with police, Clark said.