A resident of a shelter for the homeless at 425 Second St. NW was shot and critically wounded there last night during what D.C. police described as an hour-long brawl.

They said Ivery Williams was shot in the chest, lower back and right arm about 9 p.m. after a fight that began on the second floor spilled out into the street in front of the shelter, which is run by the Community for Creative Non-Violence.

Williams was undergoing emergency surgery early today at the Washington Hospital Center.

Darryl Heller, a staff member at the shelter, said he was in the lobby when he saw Williams and "about 10 or 15" other residents come down the steps "arguing about something." Heller said, "I saw a knife, and someone threw a bottle and hit someone in the chest, and they fell over the desk."

The fight continued in the street, and a short time later CCNV leader Mitch Snyder, who was working in the building, heard shots.

"I think [Williams] was at the corner of Second and E when it happened and he managed to stagger back to the steps at the front entrance. He got part way up the steps and collapsed," Snyder said.

Snyder said he believed the fight was about a woman and that Williams may have been shot by a former resident of the shelter.

Police said no arrests had been made late last night.