One or more gunmen fired about 30 shots yesterday afternoon at an elderly man and a 20-year-old man who had stopped their car at a red light at a busy intersection on H Street NE, D.C. police said.

Bullets fired by at least one gunman who jumped from a second car hit the older man in the abdomen, hip, thigh, buttocks and shoulder. The younger man suffered at least two bullet wounds to his shoulder and hand, police said. Both men were reported in serious but stable condition at a hospital. Neither the men nor the hospital were identified by police because the victims are witnesses.

The shooting just after 1:30 p.m. had bystanders diving for cover and later gawking. Two blocks of the busy corridor were closed to traffic for hours. Police placed numerous red markers next to shell casings that littered the ground.

The car in which the victims were sitting lurched forward, jumped the curb and bumped into a deli at Third and H streets, police said.

A man who heard shots said he initially started moving toward the site but changed his mind when people running by warned him it wasn't safe. He went to a gas station nearby and soon was joined by the younger victim, whose shirt was bloody.

"I put pressure on his wounds, and by then police and an ambulance were arriving," said the good Samaritan. He asked that he not be identified, saying "a streetwise guy who seemed to know what he was talking about" had told him that a turf war was taking place and that witnesses could be harmed.

Sgt. Joe Gentile, a police spokesman, said at least one person jumped out of a car and began shooting into the victims' car. Police, he said, are investigating but have made no arrests.