A photographer employed by the U.S. House of Representatives died yesterday morning, several hours after he was found in downtown Washington, slumped over the wheel of his car, unconscious and bleeding from a gunshot wound in his head.

No motive has been determined, police said, and no suspect identified in the slaying of Pendleton L. Wilson, 28, of 4559 Logsdown Dr., Annandale. He was found at about 3:30 a.m. at 10th and L streets NW.

He was rushed to George Washington University Hospital, where doctors worked several hours to remove at least one bullet from his brain. He died in the intensive care unit at 9:30 a.m. from what doctors said was "massive brain damage."

Wilson is the District of Columbia's 196th murder victim this year, compared to 186 at this time last year. He was remembered as a stylishly dressed, personable man who was "thoroughly dedicated to photography," said coworker Jim Moore.

While working as a House photographer for the Republican party, Wilson frequently sold freelance work to wire services and local newspapers. Moore said yesterday that he believed Wilson had taken several pictures at a fire in Annandale on Tuesday night and, after returning to his office in the Rayburn Building to develop the pictures, was headed to The Washington Post to offer the pictures.

Police would not confirm Moore's account yesterday, nor would they say whether any developed pictures of a fire were found in his small foreign car.

Wilson's wife, Ellen, could not be reached yesterday for comment.

Moore said that after graduating from Annandale High School, Wilson took a job with the Washington bureau of the Associated Press in 1969. After working there as a copy boy and photo lab technician for five years, he was employed by House Republicans, also as a lab technician.

Two years ago, Wilson was made a photographer, and he came to be "liked by everyone," said Moore.