A D.C. K-9 officer last night shot and fatally injured a 23-year-old man who had assaulted two other persons in front of a Northwest apartment building before attacking the officer, a D.C. police spokesman said.

Sgt. Joe Gentile said the man, whose identity was not released, reached into the officer's car, which was parked on the entrance ramp at the Washington House at 2120 16th St. NW, and tried to strangle her just before he was shot at 11:17 p.m.

The victim was taken to the Washington Hospital Center's MedStar Unit, where he was pronounced dead at 11:45 p.m., Gentile said.

Police said the man assaulted two other persons in the block before witnesses flagged down 3rd District Officer Deborah R. Weinsheimer, 35, a 12-year veteran of the force.

Gentile said Weinsheimer was advised by witnesses that "a male subject was running around nude, acting in an erratic manner and assaulting people."

When the man "reached in and began strangling her," Gentile said, Weinsheimer fired her service revolver, striking the victim twice. Weinsheimer has been placed on routine administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the shooting, Gentile said.