A suspect was killed and a D.C. police officer was shot and seriously wounded early this morning in a gun battle in Prince George's County that broke out after officers pursued an auto into the county's from far Southeast.

The wounded officer was shot in the chest and head and several times in the body, and was undergoing surgery early this morning at Greater Southeast Community Hospital.

The names of the suspect and of the D.C. officer, believed assigned to the 7th District, were not immediately available in the first minutes after the 1:30 a.m. shooting incident.

The incident apparently began when D.C. officers spotted an auto that seemed to match the description of a vehicle reported stolen, according to Capt. Charles Wolfe, night supervisor for the county police.

After heading south at high speeds into the county on Branch Avenue, the chase reportedly veered onto Curtis Drive. About one block from the intersection with Branch Avenue the vehicle being pursued, described by authorities and witnesses as a white auto, believed of foreign manufacture, came to a halt.

Two men inside left the car there, according to Wolfe, and shots were exchanged soon after.

Wolfe said he understood from sketchy preliminary reports that the officer was hit first and that the suspect was then shot by another D.C. officer who had also participated in the chase.

A second man was taken into custody in connection with the incident early this morning, and was being taken to county detective headquarters for questioning, Wolfe said.

Police continued early this morning to comb the area of the shooting, about one half mile south of the boundary between the county and the city.