A youth in his early teens was fatally shot last night in Northeast Washington in what police said may have been an accident.

Police identified the teenager as Dominic Page, 14, of the 5600 block of Eads Street NE, and said he was shot about 8:30 p.m. in the 500 block of 59th Street NE. Residents of the area said he might have been 13 and might have moved recently to Prince George's County.

The residents said they understood that he was visiting his grandmother.

Dominic was shot once in the chest. He was taken to Prince George's Hospital Center and pronounced dead soon after.

A handgun was found at the shooting scene, which was in an unlit alley between buildings, police said. They said that the youth was not alone in the alley but that it was not immediately clear how many others might have been with him.

"We are looking into allegations that it was an accidental shooting," Cmdr. Joel Maupin said.

Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey and D.C. Council member Vincent C. Gray (D-Ward 7) went to the scene. Gray said the incident indicated a continuing need for strict regulation of firearms in the city.

"Do you believe we actually have debate in this city about whether to relax gun control?" he asked.

One resident of the street said she was watching television when she heard the shot. At first, she said, she believed that the sound was made by a firecracker.

Then, she said, she "just heard children screaming . . . small children."

She looked out her window "and saw all the commotion."

Staff writer Jonathan Abel contributed to this report.