Prince George's County police sealed off a Suitland apartment complex for more than eight hours yesterday as they searched door-to-door in an unsuccessful effort to apprehend a suspect in an armed robbery at a restaurant who exchanged gunfire with officers, authorities said.

Two officers, responding to a silent alarm, arrived at the Sizzler restaurant, 3443 Branch Ave., about 9:30 a.m. as the holdup man was coming from the restaurant office, police said. Officer Marcos Zarragoitia exchanged shots with the man, who then used the restaurant manager as a shield, police said.

Officer Dana Hamm also fired at the man, who fled across a parking lot to a McDonald's restaurant, police said. No one apparently was struck by the gunfire, police said.

The holdup man forced a man waiting in line at the McDonald's carry-out window from his car at gunpoint and drove with the Sizzler manager to the 3400 block of Curtis Drive, police said. The man then fled into the Carriage Hills apartment complex, leaving the restaurant manager behind unharmed, police said.

Police said they found an undisclosed sum of money believed taken from the restaurant and a gun in an apartment.