A 21-year-old Northeast Washington man, one of the five young men charged in connection with the shooting death last February of an off-duty D.C. police officer, pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court yesterday to first-degree murder while armed.

Judge Alfred Burka said he will sentence the man, Joseph L. Wright, on Aug. 8. Wright, who is being held without bond, lives at 1504 D St. NE.

The shooting occured during a holdup at Jimi's lounge at 4801 Georgia Ave. NW on Feb. 16. Officer Bernis Carr Jr., 34, was shot in the head and chest, apparently after one of the robbers discovered he was a police officer. Four lounge employes also were in the room at the time of the incident, the U.S. attorney's office has said. Wright was shot in the elbow during the holdup.

Because of his age, Wright is eligible to be sentenced to an indeterminate prison term under the Youth Corrections Act. If he is sentence as an adult - a decision left to Judge Burka - Wright faces a minimum of 20 years to life in prison on the first-degree murder charge.

Last Friday, three of the five men charged pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed robbery in connection with the holdup and shooting. Those men are Calvin O. Gorham, 18, of 1365 Kennedy St. NW; Dion M. Wilson 23, of 1322 Massachusetts Ave. SE and Ricardo A. Roberts, 18, of 1224 Southern Ave. SE.

The fifth defendant, Gregory E. Williams, 25, is scheduled to stand trial Sept. 7. Williams, who the government contends fired the shots that killed Carr, lives at 6333 Landover Rd, in Cheverly.