A Wells Fargo guard carrying thousands of dollars exchanged gunfire in a wild shootout yesterday with three would-be robbers in a Safeway parking lot in Northwest Washington. The guard foiled the robbery attempt, but was shot in the arm and shoulder, police said.

Police said at least 10 shots were fired in the 9 a.m. holdup attempt that began when a gunman opened fire on Glenn Grymes, 50, who was carrying the weekend receipts from the market at 1368 Park Rd. NW.

Gunshots hit the Wells Fargo armored car, the windshields of two cars in the parking lot and a window in a nearby apartment building, police said, but only Grymes -- who was wearing a bulletproof vest -- was hurt. The three bandits fled on foot. Police said they had not determined whether more than one was armed.

"He just opened fire," Grymes told a reporter. "It was just one of those things." Grymes, who was in good condition last night at Washington Hospital Center, said it was the first time he had been shot at in 19 years with the armored car service. He would not discuss the case further. Police said Grymes was working with a partner who took no part in the exchange of gunfire.

In other robberies, Prince George's County police said they traded gunshots with a robber who held up Murry's meat market in Coral Hills yesterday afternoon. Police said they pursued the suspect into the District, spotted him running into a house in the 600 block of 50th Place SE and surrounded the building.

But three hours later, D.C. and Prince George's police said they concluded that the suspect had eluded them.

In a third case, police said a man known to them as "Bob Redskin" held up the Capital City Savings and Loan office at 1730 M St. NW and escaped with an undetermined amount of cash. Police said the suspect is wanted for questioning in about five bank robberies in Detroit and Washington. He earned the nickname when he used it to sign a holdup note.

Yesterday morning, police said, Robert E. Stephens reported being robbed of about $8,000 at gunpoint as he left the National Savings and Trust Co. office at 6422 Georgia Ave. NW. Stephens told police he was carrying the payroll money for a District firm when he was approached by a man who put a gun under Stephens' chin and demanded the money.