A 31-year-old Southwest Washington man was reported in serious condition at Greater Southeast Community Hospital yesterday after he was shot outside his apartment building by a D.C. police officer who alleged the man tried to hit him with a tire iron, police said.

Charles Edward Alston of 49 Galveston St. SW was recovering from gunshot wounds in the chest, abdomen and right arm. The shooting occurred just after 10 p.m. Monday, according to Capt. Philip O'Donnell of the 7th Police District.

Alston was charged with assault on a police officer while armed, police said.

The shooting is under investigation, a routine procedure, 7th District officials said.

The incident started when two officers in a patrol wagon responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at the Galveston Street address, O'Donnell said. The officers, Irving Cousins and Pamela Cooper, found a man brandishing a tire iron on the sidewalk in front of the building, according to O'Donnell.

Cousins, a 12-year veteran of the force, asked the man what happened, but the man advanced toward him with the tire iron raised over his head, O'Donnell said.

When the man began to swing the tire iron downward toward Cousins' head, Cousins fired his service revolver, O'Donnell said.