Two teenage friends from the same Southeast Washington neighborhood were shot to death and found early yesterday on Suitland Parkway, D.C. police said.

Marcel Merritt, 16, of the 600 block of Atlantic Street and Kevin A. Jackson, 17, of the 600 block of Yuma Street were found about 3:30 a.m. on the parkway near Alabama Avenue in Southeast, police said.

The youths, who had been shot a number of times, had also been struck by at least one vehicle, police said. They showed no signs of life at the scene and were taken to the city medical examiner's office.

Police said it was unclear whether the driver of the vehicle was involved in the deaths or whether the teenagers had been killed at the scene or dumped there.

Police said they were looking into the possibility that the shooting was retaliation for at least one neighborhood incident.

A relative of Jackson's said he attended Ballou Senior High and enjoyed playing football.

"He was a bright, intelligent little guy," said the relative, who asked not to be named. "That's why we're trying to figure out exactly what happened."

He described Jackson and Merritt as "very good buddies."

Yesterday's double slaying was part of a recent outbreak of killings in the city. Six people were fatally shot in little more than 48 hours; three of them were killed within two hours late Friday and early Saturday.

Homicides in the District are keeping pace with last year's. There have been 156 homicides in 2005, the same number as a year ago.

A $25,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Anyone with information may call D.C. police at 202-727-9099.

Staff writer Martin Weil contributed to this report.