A man was killed and a baby was critically wounded in an outburst of gunfire in Southeast Washington late last night, police said. The shootings came only hours after police said four people had been wounded by stray bullets in Columbia Heights.

Police Lt. Sonya Owens said the four who were hit about 9:20 p.m. in the 1400 block of Columbia Road NW were "standing in the wrong place at the wrong time." According to the information available to her, she said, "They were just caught in the middle."

Last night's shootings occurred four days after a grandmother was killed by stray bullets outside her home in Southeast Washington and 10 days after a mother of five was killed by a stray shot while in her home in Capitol Heights.

The baby wounded last night was hit just before 11 p.m. in the 1600 block of 29th Street SE, police said. The child, reported to be less than one year old, was wounded in the stomach and taken to Children's Hospital. A hospital spokeswoman described the baby's condition early today as critical.

In addition to the man who was killed in that shooting, a woman may have been hit in the leg, police said. The attack apparently occurred on a sidewalk, and police said they believed two guns were used. Shell casings littered the pavement.

No identities were available for any of those hit, and police gave no information about a possible motive or suspects.

In the Columbia Heights incident, the four people wounded apparently had just left a party in a building on the north side of the 1400 block of Columbia Road NW and were on the sidewalk when gunfire broke out nearby, police said.

The names of the four were unavailable, but Owens said two were males and two females, with one of the four described as a juvenile.

Owens said two were hit in the leg, and two others were grazed. The wounds were not believed to be life-threatening.

No motive was known in that shooting, and as of early this morning, police reported no arrests.

A few minutes after the outbreak of gunfire in the 1400 block of Columbia Road, another shooting occurred in the next block, police said. In that shooting, in the 1300 block of Columbia Road, a man was hit in the side and seriously wounded, they said. Officials said that attack may have stemmed from an argument.

Authorities said that in the incident in which the grandmother was killed Monday night, she had been trying to usher children indoors to escape a gun battle that had erupted behind houses in the East Capitol Dwellings in the 100 block of 56th Place.

Two teenagers have been arrested on murder charges in the death of the woman, Helen Foster-El, who was hit in the back and in the leg.

In the Capitol Heights incident, Dona Elizabeth Ferguson was hit by a bullet fired across the street from her home. Four people have been arrested on murder charges in the incident, which police said stemmed from a drug deal that went awry.