Two men were shot and killed during an argument on a sidewalk in Adams-Morgan shortly after midnight yesterday, just steps from the busy intersection of Columbia Road and 18th Street NW, D.C. police reported.

They said that Javier Marquez, 34, of Arlington, and Alonso Najera, 29, of Alexandria, were pronounced dead at D.C. General Hospital three hours after the shooting occurred.

D.C. police declined to release the exact address of either victim.

Police said that Javier Lopez, 32, of 1820 Clydesdale Place NW, and Alberto Navarete-Vivar, 22, of 4283 58th Ave., Bladensburg, were charged with second-degree murder in the shooting.

Lopez was being treated for facial cuts and was listed in good condition at George Washington Hospital last night, according to a hospital spokesman. Navarete-Vivar was being held in the D.C. Central Cellblock pending arraignment.

The shooting occurred at 12:21 a.m. in front of the New Orleans Cafe, a popular eating spot on Columbia Road NW, police said. The victims and their alleged assailants had been at the nearby Acapulco Restaurant and Lounge and, after leaving, apparently became embroiled in a dispute.

District police provided no further details of the slayings.

An employe of a cafe that is located within yards of the shooting said yesterday that he knew the men and that there had been "problems" between them. But he said he did not know what had precipitated the argument.

A waitress in the New Orleans Cafe said that she had been downstairs getting ready to leave the restaurant when she heard shouts from above. She said that she rushed upstairs and realized that people were calling for the police. By then, she said, a large crowd had gathered on the sidewalk.

Traffic in the area was immobilized for about an hour as police cordoned off parts of 18th Street and Columbia Road.