An 18-year-old Spingarn High School student was shot yesterday on the grounds of the school at 26th Street and Benning Road NE, in what he told police was an attempted robbery.

Nathan Edmonds, a junior at the school told police that he was wounded by the youth, whom he had seen around the building yesterday morning, after refusing to give him money.

Edmonds, who was listed in satisfactory condition early last night at D.C. General Hospital, following surgery, said he was approached by the youth as he left the school building about 1 p.m. The young man asked Edmonds for a cigarette and walked away after receiving it, Edmonds told police.

Edmonds said he was sitting on the grass near the school building a few minutes later, when the youth returned and demanded money. Edmonds said no; the youth grabbed him by the arm and they struggled, according to the statement Edmonds gave police.

Edmonds told police that he broke away from his assailant and was running away when the shot was fired. Police said he was shot with a weapon described as a "dark colored handgun." Doctors at D.C. General said the bullet appeared to have pierced his abdomen and exited through his back.

Police had no suspects and no description of the weapon, spokesmen said last night. The incident was under investigation as a robbery and holdup.

Edmonds, whose address was listed by police as being 1572 Kenilworth Ave., NE, is the son of a Petecostal minister, the Rev. Hamilton Edmonds, of Southeast Washington.

Mr. Edmonds said Nathan, the youngest of seven children, had lived with his mother at the Northeast address since the couple separated, but had begun staying with him recently. He said he drove his son to school yesterday morning, and had not idea what might have caused him to be shot.