The bullet came within two inches of causing a serious injury, and that made all the difference yesterday for D.C. police Officer Brian Ceasar.

Ceasar and a partner were investigating a couple in Northeast Washington who were engaged in "sexual activities" in a parked car, police said, when the man began firing from the car.

One of the bullets struck Ceasar on one side of the back of the neck and exited on the other side. He was taken to Georgetown University Hospital, where he was listed in good condition yesterday.

"His injury, luckily, was a clear in-and-out injury," Dr. Michael Pasquale said. "The bullet came in and made a track of three to four inches and then exited." He said the bullet missed seriously injuring Ceasar by two inches.

Ceasar, who is 25 and has been on the force for two years, is expected to be released today.

The suspect, who has not yet been identified, was shot by officers after a short chase, police said. He was taken to D.C. General Hospital, where officials said his condition would not be made available under a policy they said is designed to protect a patient's security.

The shooting took place about 2:30 a.m. when the two officers -- both assigned to the 6th District -- approached a car parked in the 400 block of 61st Street NE. The man "produced a handgun and fired on the officers before exiting and fleeing," police said in a statement.

Officials, citing the department's policy, would not release the identity of the second officer or the number of officers who responded. The suspect was shot several times a "short distance" from the scene, police said.

The woman, Dionne Moore, 19, of Suitland, was charged with disorderly conduct, police said. The suspect in the case gave investigators several aliases, and police are trying to identify him.