A 20-year-old college student from Springfield was fatally shot early yesterday near Georgetown's M Street strip after he and a companion were accosted by three robbers who demanded their money at gunpoint, police said.

The victim, Charles M. Beecroft of 7407 Hastings St., was crossing a foot bridge over the C&O canal at Potomac and Grace streets NW with Myung-Il Chang, 22, a friend from the Springfield area, about 1 a.m. when they were accosted, officers said.

The three approached out of the darkness, Chang told investigators, and one of them said, "Gimme what you got."

Chang surrendered his wallet, but Beecroft apparently took a few steps backward rather than comply immediately, a relative said.

Beecroft was shot once in the chest, and the assailants fled. Chang administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to his fallen companion immediately after the shooting.

Chang finally left the scene in an effort to telephone for help. Police said he kicked in the door of a nearby office building, found a phone and dialed the emergency number 911, but, officers said, he failed to dial "9" to get an outside line and did not complete the call. Police were alerted to the incident when a burglar alarm inside the building was triggered by Chang's entry, they said.

Beecroft was taken to George Washington University Hospital, where he failed to respond to treatment and died about an hour after he was shot, police said.

Detectives said last night that no arrests had been made.

According to family members, Beecroft decided to visit Georgetown yesterday "because he was bored and it was a nice night to be driving around."

"They were just out for a cruise," Beecroft's brother, Jeff, told a reporter.

Beecroft, who had attended Lee High School and West Springfield High School in Fairfax, was a student at Northern Virginia Community College.