A 15-year-old Crossland High School student was fatally shot early yesterday morning as he stood in a town house complex with a group of friends in Capitol Heights, Prince George's County police said.

Steven Lawrence Sellman, of the 6200 block of Summerhill Road in Temple Hills, was pronounced dead at Prince George's Hospital Center shortly after he was shot about 4:20 a.m. in the 1700 block of Addison Road South, police said.

Sellman, an honor roll student and varsity football player at Crossland, was talking with friends in the Pickwick Square subdivision when a car drove past and someone opened fire, said Reginald Lucas, 28, whose brother is married to Sellman's sister.

"There were 10 or 15 of them just standing there," Lucas said, recounting what police had told the family. "He was just the innocent person who got shot."

The teenager, who was a sophomore, was shot once in the chest, Lucas said.

Cpl. Irene Huskins, a Prince George's police spokeswoman, said she could not confirm whether it was a drive-by shooting or whether Sellman was the intended target. Police released no details yesterday, saying only that they have no suspects or motive.

School officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Lucas said Sellman was out with friends and may have been headed to Sellman's sister's home a couple blocks away, where he sometimes stayed.

"He was a good kid," Lucas said. "He's always been a smart kid."

Several neighbors said they awoke to the sounds of two or three rapid-fire gunshots and saw the teenager lying on the sidewalk in front of a row of two-story, red brick town houses. They said that he was gasping for breath and that paramedics attempted CPR when they arrived.

Neighbors said they generally feel safe in the area and had not had any violent crimes in recent memory. A woman who lives one block from where Sellman was shot said she awoke to the sound of five to seven gunshots. The woman, who spoke on the condition that her name not be published, said she didn't hear anything for five to 10 minutes, then heard sounds as if someone was walking in the thick brush behind her back yard and then heard by six or so more gunshots.

As friends and relatives arrived at Sellman's Temple Hills home yesterday afternoon, his parents said they were too distraught to speak with a reporter. One of Sellman's aunts, who declined to give her name, said the family had watched the teenager play in a football game Saturday.

She pointed to about six young children jumping through the orange and yellow leaves in the front yard.

"All these children around here," she said, "he was their idol."