Two men were killed and three more were wounded following gunfire in the Lower 9th Ward on Tuesday night, New Orleans police said. 

Tuesday night's killings came a few hours after one person was slain in a shooting in the 2400 block of St. Charles Avenue as a Mardi Gras parade passed by. Two others were wounded in a separate shooting reported in the Central Business District one block off St. Charles while a parade rolled through that neighborhood as well. 

The two men killed were 23 and 26 years old. The three wounded men were 21, 25 and 26.  

Police said they would search through the night for multiple suspects in the Lower 9th Ward slayings but did not identify them or any of the victims. 

Those victims were in a car outside a house party on nearby Andry Street when the shooting erupted after 8 p.m., police said. By one count, about 30 gunshots rang out. Witnesses told police that one of the men was carrying an "assault rifle," although the type was not specified. 

The body of one of the slain victims was in a red car that later pulled into a gasoline station in the 5100 block of St. Claude Avenue.

Three of the remaining victims took private rides to the hospital, and one was taken there by paramedics. 

One of the victims taken to the hospital died after arriving. The three others were recovering from their wounds Tuesday night, police said. 

Police didn't discuss a possible motive for the violence. 

Shortly afterward, at least one person was put into the back of a state trooper's cruiser a few blocks down St. Claude, toward Chalmette. It wasn't clear if that person was a suspect. 

Emotions ran high at the scene Tuesday night, where a large crowd gathered in the store parking lot. Police had to restrain people who attempted to get to the car where one of the victims had died. 

The convenience store's manager said he was inside his business when somebody suddenly burst in from outside and shouted, "Call 911! Somebody got killed!" 

The manager, who declined to give his name, said he couldn't tell what led up to the violence but was disturbed to learn at least three people had been killed and five people had been wounded in town on Mardi Gras. 

The store manager said, "It's been rough. Situations like this are really frightening, and everyone is scared." 

The earlier shootings, several miles away from the Lower 9th Ward, rattled parade spectators and marred the city's annual celebration of the beginning of Lent.

New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said the bloodshed on such an important day for the city was "disappointing" and "very frustrating." 

Tuesday night's killings in the Lower 9th Ward were in the same neighborhood as another large-scale shooting about three months ago. 

One person died and five others were wounded the night of Nov. 11 following a shooting at the corner of Forstall and Burgundy streets.

That attack unfolded during a funeral second-line being held in the neighborhood in memory of another man who had been fatally shot in New Orleans East several days earlier.

Follow Ramon Antonio Vargas on Twitter, @RVargasAdvocate.

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