A 43-year-old Laurel man was charged with assault with intent to murder and abduction yesterday in connection with the shooting of a Gaithersburg woman during an apparent argument at her home, Montgomery County police said.

The suspect, John Ambrose Griffiths, was arrested shortly after the 10 a.m. shooting, which police said occurred in an apartment at 413 West Side Dr.

County police said Griffiths identified himself to arresting officers as a retired D.C. police detective, but this could not be confirmed yesterday.

The shooting victim, Barbara Harrington, 52, was shot once in the left shoulder in the incident and was taken to Suburban Hospital where she underwent emergency surgery. She was listed in critical condition last night. Police said she and the suspect had apparently been acquainted with each other for some time.

Police said Griffiths, of 14800 Fourth Street in Laurel, appeared at the building about 9:50 a.m., where he encountered a 15-year-old neighbor of Harrington, with whom he also was acquainted.

The suspect then allegedly produced a pistol and ordered the youth to fetch his mother, and, when she came outside, ordered the two to the fourth-floor apartment where Harrington lives.

Still at gunpoint, police allege, he ordered the woman to knock on Harrington's door. When Harrington answered, the boy and his mother were released, and the man entered the apartment, police said.

A neighbor, hearing a gunshot in the apartment a few minutes later, summoned police who arrested Griffiths at the scene without incident, officials said.