An unidentified man was in critical condition at D.C. General Hospital early this morning after being shot by a D.C. police officer through the windshield of the stolen car he was driving, police and witnesses said.

Police said that the car was spotted about midnight in Capitol Hill and its license plate number reported by officers from the 7th District, who were in an unmarked car. Police said the car was listed as stolen, and an alert had been broadcast.

As the officers gave chase south along Pennsylvania Avenue, the car turned north onto 11th Street S.E., police said. A marked police cruiser from the 1st District was apparently making a U-turn on 11th Street to join the chase when the stolen car speeded up, and the two officers jumped out.

Police said that the man swerved the car, apparently in an attempt to get around the cruiser, and one officer, identified as an 18-year member of the force, fired into the car through the windshield on the driver's side, striking the man in the neck.

Last night at police headquarters, a woman who identified herself as a passenger in the car confirmed the car was stolen, and said that as the car pulled up in front of the cruiser, police ordered her and the driver to get out.

She said that as she stepped out from the passenger side of the front seat, the car "kept rolling," and the officer fired into the car.