Prince George's County police wounded a suspect yesterday evening in an exchange of gunfire after a break-in attempt at a house in the Temple Hills area, police said.

The man was in critical condition after the shooting, which occurred about 6:30 p.m. in the 2700 block of Iverson Street, about two blocks from Iverson Mall.

Police said the man was hit in the lower body. His name was not released.

Details of the confrontation were not immediately available, but police said they seized a shotgun.

Officers went to the scene in response to a phone call from a woman who had barricaded herself in an upstairs bedroom with a small child to escape an intruder who had forced his way into the house, police said.

There were as many as two other break-ins or break-in attempts yesterday at houses in the area, police said.

They said that officers were patrolling nearby last night and arrived in time to confront the suspect behind the house.

After he was shot, the man was flown to a hospital by helicopter, a spokesman for the county fire and rescue service said.

Neighbors said they heard several gunshots, fired in a single, rapid volley. "Four shots," one resident said. "All at once."

Afterward, the residents said, police flooded the area and an ambulance arrived.

Then, the residents said, they saw a man, whom they did not recognize, being placed in the ambulance. He appeared conscious but did not speak, they said.

The incident happened in a cluster of homes that residents said dated at least to the 1970s.

Despite its proximity to the mall, one resident said, the area is pleasant and enables him to live there quietly and comfortably.