Three second-half goals in seven minutes helped Newcastle see off Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby.
Shearer netted his 206th goal in Newcastle colours
The Black Cats looked set for victory after Justin Hoyte's close-range finish gave them a deserved first-half lead.
But Michael Chopra benefited after a defensive lapse from Steven Caldwell to tap in an equaliser, then Alan Shearer added a penalty one minute later.
Charles N'Zogbia strode through a disheartened defence to add a third before Albert Luque slotted home.
The scoreline was rough justice on Sunderland who had comfortably coped with a lacklustre Newcastle up to the equaliser.
But, as befitting a team rock-bottom of the Premiership, their confidence visibly ebbed away after Newcastle's equaliser - and the Magpies took pleasure in rubbing salt in their rivals' wounds.
There was little sign of drama in the early stages, despite a typical highly-charged atmosphere at Stadium of Light.
The better football was always played by Sunderland in the early stages, but neither side even came close to producing a shot on target before Hoyte's 32nd-minute opener.
The on-loan youngster started the move in his own half, sending the ball down the right for Jon Stead.
The striker passed inside to Dean Whitehead who cut the ball back for Hoyte to net his first career goal.
Shortly afterwards, Liam Lawrence sent in a powerful drive which deflected wide off of Titus Bramble's head with Shay Given struggling.
Newcastle were poor throughout the first half, and would have surely faced a half-time rollicking from boss Glenn Roeder.
Yet it had no immediate effect as Sunderland continued to dominate - until a crazy 65-second period in which Newcastle went from 1-0 down to 2-1 up.
Substitute Chopra - who had been on for just 15 seconds - found his first task a simple one.
He held off Davis and tapped in after being put clear by Caldwell's inexplicable decision to leave an aimless long ball into the box.
Goalscorer Hoyte then turned villain as his clumsy tackle on N'Zogbia led to a penalty which Shearer hammered home in his usual fashion.
But later Shearer went off with an injury which may end his season and therefore bring a premature end to a career which was scheduled to end at the close of this season.
The home fans were stunned and still reeling when N'Zogbia made it 3-1 just five minutes later.
The Sunderland defence had no answer to his direct run and he took advantage of the space he afforded them, running into the area and sliding home from 12 yards.
The match was over as a contest but there was time for Luque to break after another defensive mix up put him through, the Spaniard keeping his composure to fire low past Davis.
Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder:
"Usually I'm a very calm person, I don't like jumping up and down like a lunatic because I don't think you make good assessments.
"But if I've ever jumped up and down like a lunatic it was during half-time.
"I certainly stripped the walls anyway. At least what I said to them, which I can't repeat, they took it on board."
Sunderland caretaker boss Kevin Ball:
"We beat ourselves as opposed to them beating us. Until the first goal, which we gifted them, we did well.
"We came here hoping we could salvage some pride after a poor season. We were well on the way to doing it. Unfortunately, it's made it worse.
"Until their goal, we moved the ball well and everything was what I wanted."
Sunderland: Davis, Hoyte, Caldwell, Danny Collins, McCartney, Lawrence, Whitehead, Miller, Daryl Murphy (Arca 64), Stead (Kyle 68), Brown.
Subs Not Used: Joe Murphy, Breen, Leadbitter.
Goals: Hoyte 32.
Newcastle: Given, Carr, Bramble, Moore, Babayaro, Solano, Faye, Clark (Chopra 59), N'Zogbia (Boumsong 88), Dyer, Shearer (Luque 71).
Subs Not Used: Harper, Ramage.
Booked: Clark, Bramble.
Goals: Chopra 60, Shearer 61 pen, N'Zogbia 66, Luque 87.
Ref: C Foy (Merseyside).