Arlington police said yesterday there was a sniper incident in the Crystal City area Wednesday morning -- a day before two cars there were discovered struck by bullets.

Early Wednesday morning, a bullet crashed through a ninth-floor window into the office of a Navy captain in National Center 1, 2511 S. Clark St., police said. The man, whom police would not identify, was not injured.

The next afternoon, four shots were fired into the 2300 block of South Clark, police said. Three of the shots shattered the rear windshield of an empty Honda Accord and the other damaged a taxi parked in front of the Stouffer Concourse Hotel. The five drivers waiting in it were not injured, according to police spokesman Tom Bell.

Police said all five bullets appeared to have been fired from a .22 caliber rifle, a weapon Bell described as "not very powerful or accurate."

He said police believe the shootings were random.

The area has numerous government offices, high-rise apartment buildings and hotels.

From the placement of the shots and their apparent trajectory, police concluded they may have come from the roof or a west window of the Buchanan House, a 442-unit apartment building at 2301 S. Jefferson Davis Hwy.

For four hours Thursday night, police roped off the 2300 block of South Clark while they searched the Buchanan House and interviewed its residents. They continued to watch the vicinity yesterday.

As news of the investigation spread rapidly through the busy office and shopping area, police received numerous calls asking if additional shootings had occurred yesterday morning. No reports of such shootings were confirmed, Bell said.