A District man was shot and critically wounded by a Montgomery County police officer in a Bethesda hotel lobby early yesterday, according to police. The man and a companion had been trying to break into guest rooms at the Holiday Inn at 8120 Wisconsin Ave., but neither was armed, police spokesman Phillip Caswell said.

Demetrus Lavaughn Coleman, 27, of 2115 Q St. NE, who was shot in the abdomen by special assignment officer Ron Hardy, is in critical condition after surgery at Suburban Hospital, a hospital spokesman said. Coleman and Gregory Lamont Lee, 22, of 1720 R St. SE, were charged with attempted burglary and assault on a police officer, Caswell added.

According to Caswell, Holiday Inn security employes telephoned police at 2:40 a.m., after receiving complaints from hotel guests about attempted break-ins. When the two suspects stepped off the lobby elevator, Hardy identified himself as a police officer, and Coleman jumped Hardy, Caswell said. In the struggle that ensued, Hardy fired two shots, with one striking Coleman, Caswell said.

Coleman and Lee then ran out the rear exit but were caught minutes later, police said.

According to Caswell, Hardy has not been placed on administrative leave during a probe of the shooting.