THE DISTRICT

Driver fatally shot: A 25-year-old Columbia Heights man was fatally shot in his car in the 4400 block of Fifth Street NW yesterday, and police said the shooting might have been triggered by road rage.

Cmdr. Larry McCoy of the 4th Police District said Jose Israel Umana-Gomez apparently had been stopped at a stop sign near Grant Circle in upper Northwest Washington about 2:50 p.m. when a car pulled up behind him and its driver blew his horn. When Gomez let another car pass, the driver blew his horn again, McCoy said, but police did not believe any words passed between the two cars.

The two cars then went through the circle and turned north onto Fifth Street. The driver that had honked soon pulled alongside Gomez's car, and someone inside fired several shots. Gomez, of the 1300 block of Park Road NW, was hit in the head, McCoy said. A male passenger in the car, whose name was withheld because he is a witness, was not injured.

Police were searching last night for a small, dark-colored vehicle with two men inside.

Murder conviction: A Northeast Washington man was convicted yesterday of second-degree murder in the January shooting of an 18-year-old man in the 3100 block of Newton Street NE.

Prosecutors said Glenn E. Adams Jr., 29, of the 1700 block of Benning Road NE sought out Michael F. Thomas on Jan. 26 because the two had argued several months earlier. Thomas pleaded for his life, but Adams shot him and then kicked him in the head, prosecutors said in D.C. Superior Court. Sentencing was scheduled for Jan. 27.

HOMICIDES

* Two men were found fatally shot early yesterday in an apartment in the 200 block of 35th Street NE, police said. One of the men was identified as Antalon Babb, 24, who lived in the block. The other man was identified as Terrence Crawford, 23, also of the block. Both had been shot multiple times, police said.

* A 20-year-old Southeast Washington man was found shot to death in a parking lot in the 800 block of Southern Avenue SE about 10:25 p.m. Tuesday, D.C. police said. Harry T. Miller of the 2500 block of Pomeroy Road SE had been shot in the head, police said.

VIRGINIA

Teacher acquitted: An Arlington Circuit Court jury yesterday found a longtime elementary school teacher not guilty of two misdemeanor counts of assault and battery against two students, officials said.

Robert S. Brooks, 52, was convicted on the two counts in General District Court in April after witnesses testified that he had slammed the boys, ages 9 and 10, against a wall. Brooks appealed to the Circuit Court, where his attorney told a jury that Brooks was simply trying to maintain order at Abingdon Elementary on Oct. 24, 2001, and had not slammed the boys against a wall.

Since his conviction, Brooks has been on paid suspension from his job. A schools spokeswoman said yesterday that the court decision would be reviewed before any decision is made on his work status.

Compiled from reports by staff writers.