A woman believed to be in her fifties was shot to death last night in her car on Reservoir Road NW, across from the German Embassy in a section of the city where homicide and other violent crime is rare.

Nancy Akers was shot about 10:25 p.m. in a red Jeep vehicle in the 4600 block of Reservoir Road, according to police Cmdr. Shannon Cockett, the head of the 2nd police district.

The shooting apparently followed a dispute, Cockett said. She said the woman had lived on the block, but was involved in divorce proceedings and had moved away. Her new address was not given. Police and neighbors said the woman and the husband from whom she was estranged -- who was not identified by name -- had at least two small children.

After the shooting, which left the woman slumped in the front seat of the vehicle, Akers was taken to Georgetown University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said.

Cockett said the homicide was the first in more than 10 months in the 2nd police district, which encompasses most of the District west of Rock Creek Park. In the last killing, Christine Mirzayan, a 28-year-old summer intern at the National Research Council, was beaten to death on the evening of Aug. 1, 1998, in woods off Canal Road NW, near the Key Bridge and Georgetown University.

The year before that, three Starbucks employees were shot to death in their store on Wisconsin Avenue on Georgetown's northern edge.