Two brothers of reality television star Toya Wright were gunned down in the 7th Ward just after midnight Sunday morning, according to Wright and the New Orleans Police Department.
Wright confirmed the deaths on her Instagram page Sunday afternoon after the news had been widely circulated on various entertainment websites.
"Help me Lord," the New Orleans native wrote, next to a photograph of her two brothers, Rudy and Josh Johnson. "I will never understand this."
In the post were hashtags with the messages "RIP to my brothers" and "I never felt pain like this before."
Police didn't identify the men as being Wright's brothers, but they confirmed that officers found two men shot to death at Pauger and North Miro streets, in the 7th Ward, shortly after midnight.
Fifth District officers responding to a report of a shooting found the two men unresponsive inside a car, suffering from an "unknown number" of gunshot wounds, police said. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
Wright is known as one of the stars of "Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars" on WE tv and the former BET shows "Tina and Toya" and "Toya: A Family Affair." She owns a boutique on Magazine Street and is the author of the book "Priceless Information."
She is also the ex-wife of local rapper Lil Wayne. The two have a 17-year-old daughter named Reginae.
After the news of the Johnson brothers' deaths broke Sunday, the social media pages for both Wright and her daughter were filled with thousands of messages of condolences and well wishes.
Among them was one from Katrina Laverne Taylor, a rapper and model with five studio albums, who is better known by her stage name Trina.
"My heart is heavy," Taylor wrote, adding that she was praying for Tonya Wright, her mother and her family. "Life is so short."
The Johnson brothers were among three people killed in New Orleans early Sunday morning, police said.
The second shooting happened shortly before 1 a.m. in the 7700 block of Keats Street in New Orleans East. A man was found lying in the street, suffering from gunshot wounds, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Both shootings are under investigation. No further information was immediately available.
The deaths brought the number of homicides in New Orleans in July to 24, the most in a month since July 2012, according to crime analyst Jeff Asher.