An Arlington woman was fatally shot and another woman was seriously wounded early yesterday, apparently after an argument the two had with a man, according to police.

Several hours after the 1:30 a.m. incident, Arlington police arrested Robert E. Tyler, 41, of 1610 S. Taylor St. and charged him with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting.

Police said Alfreda Coleman, 24, of 1835 N. Dinwiddie St. died after being shot at least once in the head in the 1800 block of N. Edison Street. Police said an autopsy on Coleman is scheduled today.

Martha Cameron, 24, of 3727 S. Kemper Rd., suffered two gunshot "She's always been very mannerly to me, very friendly. I'm very hurt. It could be one of my own children." -- Virginia Copeland, neighbor wounds in the head and was listed in serious but stable condition in Arlington Hospital late yesterday.

"We think there was some type of an argument. We really don't know what caused it yet," said police spokesman Ken Rosenberg. He said police have no evidence to indicate the women were robbed or sexually assaulted, but "we're not ruling out anything at this point."

Police said Coleman, who was shot first, was dead when they arrived at the scene. After being shot, Cameron walked one block east and was found by police near Coleman's house on Dinwiddie Street, they said.

The two women were friends, police said, but they could not say whether Tyler knew either of them. Police said no weapon or bullets were recovered at the scene.

Tyler, a construction worker for Giant Foods in Landover, is being held without bond in Arlington County Jail. According to Alexandria Circuit Court records, he was convicted of second-degree murder in 1972 and served three years of a 10-year sentence in the state penitentiary.

By late morning, news of yesterday's shooting had spread through the North Arlington neighborhood, where many have lived since childhood and regard their neighbors as family.

"[Coleman] was close with my children. They were raised up together," said Virginia Copeland, as she sat on her porch on Dinwiddie Street yesterday. "She's always been very mannerly to me, very friendly. I'm very hurt. It could be one of my own children."

Linda Herbert, Coleman's cousin, talked quietly through a screen door as several small children played outside the brick quadruplex apartment building at 1835 Dinwiddie.

"We really don't want to talk about it right now. We are stunned. It hasn't sunk into us yet. We just want some privacy," she said.

Neighbors said Coleman had three young children, two girls and a boy, and that she lived with her mother.

"Think about the fallout from something like this -- those three little kids growing up without a mother," said School Board member Frank K. Wilson, who lives in the neighborhood and is president of its civic association. "It's just senseless."