In The Dark
A year after losing their sons, the Veal family is still in the dark.
A Heartbreaking Week
Bryan Veal's murder was only the start of a heartbreaking week.
Funeral for Three
'They were not street kids. They were not castaways.'
'We know nothing and we just want answers.'
Violent crime in New Orleans has unfortunately left many families with a familiar feeling - a feeling of devastation and loss. While some arrests have been made in homicide cases, giving families some closure, others are left in the dark.
That’s the case for the family of Bryan, Bradley and Brandon Veal. They are three brothers who were murdered within seven days of each other.
From the time of their murders in February 2021 until May 10, 2022, the Metropolitan Crime Commission recorded nearly 300 additional homicides. With that many cases to solve, their father wonders if he’ll ever get justice in his son’s brutal murders.
In The Dark: A year after losing their sons, the Veal family is still in the dark.
More than one year after losing their boys in one week, the family says they are still in the dark both literally and figuratively. The Veal family agreed to speak with WWL-TV with anonymity, shielding their names and faces from television cameras.
“To know that whoever the perpetrators are, are still walking around doing whatever and we have no idea who they could be or who they are,” says a family member. “So, for us to just come out and talk openly about it, it’s frightening.”
While you haven’t seen their faces, they’ve made sure their thoughts and voices are heard and seen. One voice we are hearing for the first time is that of the boy's father.
“My whole life has changed,” he says. “Anybody that’s experiencing death like that and then it being unsolved. There’s a super unfairness.”
The family members say they were out of town in Baton Rouge having dinner. When they parted ways, the boy’s father received a chilling phone call.
Bryan Veal, the middle child, was murdered on the corner of Washington and Loyola on February 13, 2021. As their family says they always were, the brothers were together. While Brandon wasn't hurt, Bradley, the youngest brother, was hit twice by bullets. Their father told us he received a phone call about his murdered son from his oldest son who was in jail.
“They said that was the only way they could contain them, to get control of the scene,” says a family member. “It should be a normal thing to have hysterical brothers who saw their brother get murdered on the street.”
We asked New Orleans Police why the brothers, one who was suffering from two gunshot wounds, were detained. They did not tell us why or gave any detail as to what happened, but they booked both brothers with battery on a police officer.
“They told me they were walking down the street and that the guys just picked on them,” says their father. “They noticed a car following them. They finally pulled up on them and started shooting out of the car.”
NOPD told the family there was surveillance video of the car pulling up and opening fire. The surveillance was likely from an NOPD crime camera near the corner of Washington and Loyola. Police wouldn’t show us the surveillance video. The family hasn’t seen it either.
This family is now in the ranks of so many families across New Orleans, devastated and confused. The bond between the Veal brothers now broken, with Bryan’s life ripped from them in front of their very eyes.
A Heartbreaking Week: Bryan Veal's murder was only the start of a heartbreaking week.
Bryan’s murder was only the beginning of what would turn into a heartbreaking week for the family.
“Earlier that day, my brother had gone up there to talk to his other two sons and their Mother about getting everything finalized to bury Bryan,” says a family member.
“I just sent them money for them to eat that afternoon and the last words I heard was, 'We love you, Dad. Thank you Dad. We love you, Man. I’m sorry, man,'” says their father.
He says the two brothers walked to the bank and later to a local McDonald's to get food.
“On their way back home to feed their mom and themselves, they were murdered.”
The gunshots, heard just seven days after their brother’s murder, were recorded on a security camera. Their father says detectives told them an NOPD crime camera was also at the scene of that murder, still it wasn’t captured.
“If it had happened a couple seconds sooner, they could have gotten it off the street camera light,” says a family member. “I'm like, are you serious? These cameras don't work like they're supposed to?”
Funeral for Three: 'They were not street kids. They were not castaways.'
Their father describes the Veal brothers as gentle giants.
“These boys were loved. They were not street kids. They were not castaways. They were not in that realm,” says a family member.
“It's just like every other murder in the city. You’d think that they did something wrong and that's the perception people have and that's not the case here.”
A family member told us the boys were unarmed.
“If they were into something, especially if my brother was gunned down one week ago, I'm coming back armed if anything.”
A funeral for one within a week turned into a funeral for three. One that wasn’t highly publicized out of fear.
“I don’t want anything to happen at the service so I hired JPSO just to make sure that we didn’t have any incidents there.”
Unanswered Questions: 'We know nothing and we just want answers.'
The family says to this day they don’t know who took Brandon, Bryan and Bradley’s lives but it isn’t for a lack of trying. Email correspondence between the brother' 'aunt and almost every level of city government shows they've been in constant contact for a year straight. There were even billboards and bus stop signs purchased by the family with help from anonymous donors.
NOPD detectives say they found the car that belonged to the suspect. The suspects attempted to burn the vehicle, but they weren’t successful. The vehicle was swabbed for DNA, but NOPD officials said that while DNA was gathered and processed, they didn’t have a match.
With a dwindling police force and still in the dark more than a year later, the family says they have lost hope. Not in their fight to find answers but in the very police department they’re relying on for help to bring the Veal brothers' murderers to justice.
“I just think they're swamped. I just think they're smothered,” says their father. “Admit you have a problem. If you have an issue, deal with it right away and call in for help. They can't do it. Look at how bad things have really gotten.”
“All the elected officials need to step up and take control of our city,” says a family member.
“We know nothing and we just want answers. They deserve that.”
A Crimestoppers reward of $10,000 is still available to anyone with any information about the Veal brothers' killings. If you know anything, give them a call at 504-822-1111.