A 39-year-old man has been arrested and charged in the stabbing deaths of an elderly Southeast Washington couple whose bodies were found last week in their apartment in a city-run senior citizens development, D.C. police reported yesterday.

In another development, police said they arrested a 22-year-old Northwest Washington man in connection with the killing of a grocer who was shot during an apparent robbery of his market in the Bloomingdale neighborhood on Dec. 28.

The suspect in last week's slayings was identified by police as Anthony Thompson, who they said lived in the 100 block of Seventh Street SE. They said he apparently knew George Bailey, 82, who was killed along with his wife, Maggie, 75.

Police said investigators believe the killings occurred during a dispute that apparently broke out while Thompson was visiting the Bailey apartment in the Arthur Capper Senior Facility in the 600 block of L Street SE.

Discovery of the Baileys' bodies last Wednesday aroused fears among residents of the nine-story, 298-unit facility, one of the largest developments run by the city's Department of Public and Assisted Housing.

On Friday, D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt Dixon, in a response to the killings, ordered police to increase patrols around the facility, which is near the Washington Navy Yard.

A spokesman for the mayor said last night that Dixon, who had visited the development after the bodies were found, was "very pleased to learn of the quick apprehension of a suspect."

Police said Thompson was arrested late Saturday night and charged with two counts of first-degree murder while armed. In a statement issued yesterday, police indicated that the stabbings occurred the day the victims were found, although it had been theorized that they were stabbed as much as four days before.

In the December killing, police said Bernard Randy Brown, of the 1300 block of Sixth Street NW, had been charged with felony murder in the death of Sun Sup Song, who ran the New Reservoir Market in the 1900 block of First Street NW.

Song was shot in the head in an apparent robbery attempt as he closed his small corner grocery store in the Bloomingdale neighborhood. That killing prompted an anti-crime demonstration outside the store by neighborhood residents.