Police critically wounded and captured a founder of Italy's feared Red Brigades terrorist gang yesterday, identifying him as the man who organized the abduction and slaying of former premier Aldo Moro, authorities reported.

Prospero Gallinari, sought by police on several murder counts, was captured after a gun battle near Rome's ancient Appian Way, officials said. They said Gallinari was hit by submachine gun bullets when police returned fire as they were approaching a car in response to a telephone tip.

Also apprehended was Mara Nanni, a woman sought on terrorist charges. A man escaped after being chased on foot by police. Gallinari, 28, was hospitalized in critical condition with bullet wounds in the head, authorities said.

Ousted from the Italian Communist Party several years ago because of complaints about a violent attitude, Gallinari escaped from jail in 1977 after a first arrest two years earlier.

Police said witnesses to Moro's 1978 kidnaping said they believed Gallinari drove the car that butted against that of Moro, forcing it to a stop. Five of Moro's bodyguards were killed in the kidnap attack. His body later was found in the trunk of an abandoned car on a Rome street.