John Bowman Sr.a 60-year-old retired Army veteran, was walking near his Southeast Washington home around noon yesterday when he was shot and killed during an apparent robbery attempt, D.C. police reported.

Bowman was discovered in the 1500 block of Ives Pl. SE, on the fringes of Capitol Hill. he was shot in the chest by an unidentified man, police said.

According to Bowman's son, John Jr., $37 was found in his father's shirt pocket. The victim's pants pockets hadbeen searched, but the son said he doubts if his father carried any money in them.

"Everbody knew him," Bowman's wife Iris said yesterday as she sat in the living room of the two-story row house where the family has lived for 15 years. "Every day he was up and down the street. He wouldn't harm nobody."

She said her husband, who had returned home from the Veterans Hospital on Friday, left the house about 11:30 a.m. yesterday.

"He said he was going to walk up the street and he would be back in about 20 minutes," she said. "He was going to come back and eat and go to sleep."

Bowman was found lying on his back, not far from a corner liquor store where he had gone to chat with the owners.

"I don't see no sense in people robbing and killing," Bowman's brother, William, said yesterday. "If you have to rob, don't kill. I think the judicial system has to take a stronger stand to protect the citizen."

Bowman, who was scheduled to return to the hospital next week for a hernia operation, served in World War II and the Korean War, family members said.

After retiring from the Army nearly 20 years ago, he worked as a maintenance worker for the C & P Telephone Co. CAPTION: Picture, JOHN BOWMAN SR. . . . $37 in his pocket