The Maryland state prosecutor's office could decide as early as today whether to investigate the Dec. 14 fatal shooting of a District police officer at his Largo home by a Prince George's County officer called to the scene to investigate a burglary.

By law, the state prosecutor has jurisdiction to investigate charges of misconduct by government officials and civil servants, including local police officers. But one official in the state prosecutor's office expressed concern yesterday that a state inquiry might duplicate efforts by Prince George's State's Attorney Alex Williams, who appointed an independent investigator 11 days ago to look into the shooting.

The attorney for the family of D.C. Officer James L. Gordon, saying that political pressures on Williams might result in a "whitewash," requested in a Dec. 24 letter to State Prosecutor Stephen Montanarelli that the state investigate the incident separately.

The county police also are investigating what happened on the evening of Dec. 14 when Prince George's police Cpl. Robert W. Raimond apparently mistook Gordon for a burglar and shot him in the chest, killing him.

The incident, involving a white county police officer and black District police officer "gives rise to too many questions," said Gordon family attorney Clayton J. Powell Jr.

"The local investigations certainly are vulnerable to conflicts of interest," Powell said.

"By bringing in the state prosecutor we might relieve any political pressure on {Williams'} office to do a whitewash. This case has generated a tremendous amount of pressure," he said.

A spokeswoman for Williams said he "intends to stand by his investigation that he began {Dec. 18} and wait for the results."

James Cabezas, chief investigator for the state prosecutor's office, said yesterday that Montanarelli, who was out and not available for comment, would make a decision immediately after receiving Powell's letter."The local investigations certainly are vulnerable to conflicts of interest."

-- Clayton J. Powell Jr.

review what is known about the shooting.END NOTES

Cabezas cautioned, however, that the involvement of the independent investigator would weigh in the decision to launch a state probe.

"We don't want to do a duplicate investigation," Cabezas said. "We have every reason to believe that Alex Williams will do a fine investigation."

Gordon was in his Largo home investigating a burglary when Raimond arrived after being dispatched on a burglary report.

Neither officer apparently knew the other was at the scene. Raimond was outside the house when he saw an armed man through a window.

Mistaking him for a burglar, Raimond called out for him to freeze, according to a witness quoted by Prince George's police.

Police said that, according to the witness' account, Gordon turned and raised his hands in a shooting position, and Raimond shot him once in the chest.

Since the shooting, questions have been raised by Gordon's fellow D.C. officers about whether Gordon was warned properly by Raimond, whether prompt medical attention was administered and about when D.C. police officials were informed and allowed access to the shooting scene.