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In a bizarre murder-suicide that stunned people who had known the family for years, a man killed his two siblings before turning his gun on himself early Tuesday inside his Bywater home, according to New Orleans police.

Authorities identified the victims as Billy Conrad, 58, and his sister Terry Fedoroff, 60. Police said they were killed by their brother Christopher Conrad, 55, who then shot himself.

A family friend, who asked not to be identified, said Christopher Conrad had moved back to New Orleans from Virginia about a decade ago to care for his elderly mother. He remained in the family home in the 1000 block of Pauline Street after she died last year.

The Bywater home was where the three grew up as children and once even served as a neighborhood preschool.

Fedoroff’s husband was the first to discover the bodies about 2:20 a.m., police said. He knocked on the door of the house but no one answered, so he forced his way inside to find his wife and brothers-in-law dead, according to police.

Police have not identified a motive in the killings.

It was unusual for all three siblings to be there together, the friend said, acknowledging that she could only speculate about the reason for the gathering.

“For them to be here, for Billy and Terry to be here, they were coming to see Chris for a reason,” she said. “It’s too many questions right now for us.”

She said only Fedoroff’s husband would know why his wife and her brother were at the home. He did not return messages Tuesday.

The family friend described Christopher Conrad and his siblings as caring people.

Billy Conrad, she said, dealt cards at the Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner, while Fedoroff was a home health care nurse.

Christopher Conrad, she said, previously lived in Virginia and worked for the CIA. Attempts to contact the agency Tuesday were unsuccessful.

The family friend said Christopher Conrad was devoted to his mother, especially as she aged. In fact, she said, he bought a minivan, tore out the back seat and installed mattresses so he could drive his mother, Eleanor, known to everyone as “Nurse,” to Texas in comfort for back treatments.

The friend said that when she heard about the shooting on the morning news, she first assumed someone had barged into the home and fired on her friends.

“I wouldn’t think any one of them would pull a gun,” she said.

Follow Danny Monteverde on Twitter, @DCMonteverde.