A retired postal worker who lived in Northeast Washington with his wheelchair-bound mother shot her to death and then killed himself, D.C. police said yesterday.

The bodies of Hugh D. Kirksey Jr., 62, and Catherine Kirksey, 80, were discovered about 10 a.m. after a housekeeper arrived at their house in the 4100 block of Lee Street NE, in the city's Deanwood neighborhood, and found the door locked. She notified police.

A police spokesman said autopsies would be performed to determine when the killings took place. Police would not describe the weapon used or speculate on a motive.

Despite a heavy rain yesterday afternoon, a half-dozen neighbors clustered outside the Kirksey house as the covered bodies were wheeled out on stretchers and homicide detectives searched the house.

The neighbors said the mother and son had lived by themselves in the small brick house since Hugh D. Kirksey Sr. died about two years ago. They said the elder Kirkseys had lived in the neighborhood, not far from the Mayfair Mansions housing project, for more than 50 years.

Catherine Kirksey was paralyzed by a stroke several years ago, neighbors said, and could not feed or care for herself. She was a member of Upper Room Baptist Church on Burns Street NE, but could no longer attend services because of her disability, church staff members said.

"It's just a shock, because I just saw him {Kirksey} Friday," said Theresa Jessup, a longtime neighbor. "He's been like a child to me. I used to get dates for him."

Jessup said she regularly brought lunch to the Kirkseys from the nearby Kemp Senior Center, but had not spoken with Catherine Kirksey during these visits in several months. She said Hugh Kirksey had seemed sullen and depressed lately while playing pool at the senior center.

Catherine Kirksey's death was the third homicide discovered in the city since Sunday, police said. Her death brought the number of killings in the District this year to 446.

The first slaying occurred about 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Police officers, called to the 1400 block of Columbia Road NW to investigate reported gunfire, found an unidentified man suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. The victim was taken to Washington Hospital Center, where he died about 4 p.m.

Shortly after the shooting, D.C. homicide detectives arrested a 17-year-old youth behind a house in the same block and charged him with first-degree murder.

About 10 p.m. Sunday, police found Michael Porter, 30, of the 1700 block of U Street NW, in his apartment. Porter, who had been stabbed, was pronounced dead about two hours later by the D.C. Medical Examiner's Office.

Police said they have no suspect or motive in Porter's death.

Staff writer Nancy Lewis contributed to this report.