A D.C. police officer was shot and killed in his house in Largo last night by a Prince George's County officer responding to a call for a burglary in an incident that county police described as a tragedy.

County police said that when the Prince George's officer, Cpl. Robert W. Raymond, 27, arrived at 10612 Mount Lubentia Way about 6:30 p.m., he saw a man inside with a gun in his hand and identified himself as an officer.

At that point, county police said, the man turned and pointed the gun at Raymond, who fired a shot, striking the man in the chest.

D.C. police identified the dead man as James L. Gordon, 41, of the 5th Police District, who had worked as a uniformed officer for 17 years or more and had recently been assigned to operate a motor scooter in a tactical unit.

County police released details of the incident early today after a period in which they said they interviewed about 40 witnesses, although none saw the shooting. In addition, they apparently studied tape recordings of police calls made around the time of the shooting.

"We have a tragedy here and we're trying to deal with it the best we can," county police spokesman Jack San Felice told reporters shortly before a 2 a.m. news conference.

He said Raymond, a six-year veteran of the force, was placed in routine administrative leave with pay pending review by the police department and the county state's attorney's office.

County police said that there had been 22 burglaries in the slain officer's neighborhood in the last two weeks.

They said they found signs that a back window of Gordon's house had been pried open. However it was not immediately clear whether a burglar had entered or had made an unsuccessful attempt. The call to the county's emergency 911 line that brought Raymond to the house came from a neighbor who had seen someone attempting to enter the window, county police said.

After Raymond arrived, county police said, he called for help, but the shooting occurred before other officers arrived.

Few details of the incident were available for hours after the shooting, and District police officials were described in the interim as disturbed over the lack of information.

People living in the slain officer's neighborhood told reporters that they knew little about the shooting. One neighbor reported hearing what he said was a single shot.

Mount Lubentia Way is just south of Prince George's Community College a mile east of the Capital Beltway. Staff writer Jeffrey Yorke contributed to this report.