An unidentified man was critically wounded last night after being shot by a D.C. police officer during a drug raid on a Northwest boarding house, police said.

The man, who was in surgery last night at Washington Hospital Center, knocked at the back door at 918 Madison St. NW while plainclothes officers were executing a search warrant for suspected drugs, police said.

An unidentified officer, who was guarding the back door, opened the door with his service revolver drawn, police said. The officer, believing he saw a handgun in the man's possession, fired and struck him in the chest, police said.

The man ran north to the 5600 block of Eighth Street NW, where he collapsed inside a house, police said. They declined to say whether a weapon was recovered.

Five persons were in the rooming house when police crashed through the front door, said Louis Harris, who runs the rooming house.

"They rounded us up and made us sit in the living room," he said. Then Harris said he heard a knock at the back door followed by a gunshot.

Harris said he did not see the shooting and was not sure if the wounded man was a resident at the boarding house.

Harris said three of the boarders, whom he did not know, were taken away by police, although police did not immediately confirm how many arrests were made in the raid, or what the charges were.

Police said some drugs were found, but would not say the type of drug or the amount.