A Clinton woman was killed by a stray bullet that passed through a bathroom wall when three armed men burst into her home, charged up the stairs, and opened fire on her husband late Tuesday, police said.

The woman's husband returned the gunfire, killing one of the assailants and wounding another shortly after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday at a home in the 4500 block of Natahala Drive, police said.

A third assailant escaped and remained at large last night, police said.

Cynthia Develle Logan, 42, known to her friends and family as "Tena," was hit in the side by a bullet that passed through the bathroom wall at the head of the stairs, police said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Logan's husband, Youelle McCoy Logan, 57, fired on the men with a .357 magnum revolver as they were coming up the stairs in the couple's home in an upper middle-class neighborhood of south Clinton, police said. Logan emptied his handgun and then picked up a shotgun to continue firing, police sources said. No charges are pending against Logan, police said.

Under Maryland law, people may use firearms or other deadly force to defend themselves against intruders inside their homes.

Police said yesterday that they were attempting to use fingerprints to identify the slain man, who was pronounced dead at the scene, and his wounded accomplice, who ran to a nearby residence for help. First-degree murder charges were pending late yesterday against the injured man, who was hospitalized with gunshot wounds to the chest, police said.

Investigators recovered two handguns, including a 9mm semiautomatic handgun, thought to belong to the assailants, sources said.

Police spokesman Mark Wright declined to comment on a motive for the shooting, but said that investigators found no evidence of drug use or sale inside the two-story brick colonial house.

Logan, who spent most of yesterday morning sitting on the front porch with family members, declined to talk to reporters. Neighbors said that Logan, known as "Pappy," and his wife own a barbecue wagon and Tena's Home Cooking, a small take-out sandwich stand at Piscataway and Temple Hill roads.

The violence that erupted Tuesday night is not the first experienced by members of the Logan family.

On March 28, a gunman armed with an Uzi seriously wounded the Logan's 18-year-old son, Jonathan McCoy Logan, and killed a companion, James Maurice Robertson, 23, during a shootout in the 5900 block of Kolb Street in Fairmount Heights, sources said. Arvel Stewart Alfton, 21, has been charged with first-degree murder in that incident.

Police, who routinely do not release the names of shooting victims, declined to discuss the incident or confirm Jonathan Logan's involvement.

Youelle Logan and Jonathan Logan were arrested on drug and weapons charges by Maryland State Police during a bizarre incident on Oct. 16, 1988, on Route 4 in Prince George's County. According to the charging documents, Youelle Logan and a female companion were traveling north on Route 4 when Jonathan Logan drove alongside their car and a passenger in his car pointed a rifle at them. The senior Logan's companion called police on a car telephone to report the incident, according to the charging documents.

State police, who stopped both cars, charged Youelle Logan with possession of drug paraphernalia after finding a scale and plastic bags in his car, according to the charging document. Jonathan Logan was charged with weapons violations after officers found a loaded .22-caliber rifle and a .22-caliber handgun in his car. The charges against both men later were dropped.

A 1986 charge of possession of narcotics with the intent to distribute against Youelle Logan also was dismissed after presentation to a grand jury, according to court records.