A narcotics suspect who allegedly shot and wounded two D.C. policemen was killed by police on a quiet residential street in Northeast Washington early yesterday after the man repeatedly refused to surrender during 3 1/2 hours of negotiations with police, authorities said.

"He's made it clear he's armed and if he comes out, he's shooting," one officer said over police radio as marksmen were poised at the scene.

"If he runs toward the firehouse, we've got him," a commanding officer replied. "If he comes out with a gun, shoot him. You've got the green light."

Thirty-seven minutes later, the suspect was dead. His body lay in a stairwell leading to the basement of the McLean Day Care Center, which is in a white, two-story, brick building at 4912 Ames St. NE, just north of East Capitol Street. It was 5:02 a.m. and the sky was dark.

Police said the man had come out shooting and was struck once in the chest by a bullet fired by a marksman perched on top of the Ship of Salvation Full Gospel Church, a two-story brick building directly across the street from the day care center. A second bullet hit him in the leg.

The suspect later was identified by police as Wesley Scott Gaskins, 28, of 74 Galveston St. SW. Police said they found 25 to 30 packets of crack, a potent derivative of cocaine, in the man's pocket. Near his body lay a .38-caliber, long-barrel revolver, police said

The two officers were wounded about 200 yards away after a car chase. The chase began when the man sought to escape after being stopped at a drunk-driving checkpoint on Independence Avenue SE south of RFK Stadium.

The two wounded officers were identified as Sgt. Thomas M. Smith, 42, and Officer David Sarate, 39.

Smith was listed in fair condition at D.C. General Hospital last night with a gunshot wound in his shoulder.

Sarate received a gunshot wound in the right side of his body and was released from D.C. General yesterday afternoon.

A resident whose home is near the building where the man had hidden from police heard part of the negotiations. "They asked him to come out. They said, 'We can resolve this thing before it gets worse,' " the neighbor recalled. "At one point, he asked for his mother."

The resident said that suddenly, "my dog started barking and the man shut up." The suspect had not told police his mother's name. "Then he said he wasn't coming out and, if he did, he was coming out shooting," added the resident, who asked not to be identified.

The tense drama began about 1 a.m. when a blue station wagon was pulled over at a sobriety checkpoint in the 1900 block of Independence Avenue SE, police said.

The driver sped off seconds after being stopped, triggering a chase by police. One patrol car from the traffic branch began pursuing the station wagon on East Capitol Street.

As the cars sped east into the 6th District just across the Anacostia River, they were joined by two police cruisers driven by Smith and Sarate.

"I was walking down the street on old Central Avenue when I heard shots," said John Williams, a bystander.

The ensuing moments became a blur, he said, as a group of about 10 pedestrians ducked for safety. "I saw people scattering so they wouldn't get hit {by bullets} and then I saw a car crash into the pole."

The station wagon, which police later said had been borrowed from a friend of the suspect, made a U-turn at 49th and East Capitol streets. The car swung wide and crashed into a traffic light, police said. Then the driver got out and ran north on 49th Street.

"I heard the crash and went to my window," said another witness, Melvin Jackson, who lives in the nearby George Washington Carver Apartments. "I saw a guy get out and he ran down 49th Street. Then I heard about nine shots, one right after the other."

Smith, a 17-year veteran of the force, and Sarate, with 15 years on the job, pulled up behind the station wagon.

They jumped out of their patrol cars and chased the man on foot.

At Central Avenue, the man ran south, with the two policemen following closely, police said. Then, in front of a house at 4913 Central Ave. NE, he apparently turned and fired on both officers. Police said Sarate was wearing a bulletproof vest, which helped shield him.

After the shooting, the man apparently turned north again and ran across a vacant lot to the basement stairwell of the day care center. Patrol units immediately began sealing off the area.

Dogs and a police helicopter were called in to search for the man.

"I thought it was firecrackers," said Suzanne Wells, a neighborhood resident who heard the shooting.

"Then I saw a helicopter circling the house, and then I saw policemen crouched down looking down the alley."

In the initial confusion, curious onlookers gathered and traffic continued on the streets, as police crouched behind parked cars for protection.

The Emergency Response Team arrived about 2 a.m., shortly after the area was cordoned off, and immediately began a search. One hour later, the man was found hiding in the stairwell.

A police negotiator and one other officer, carrying a bulletproof shield called a bunker, approached a white car parked along the curb in front of the day care center.

Crouching behind the car, the negotiator began trying to talk the man into giving himself up.

"At one point he was a little incoherent," said the resident who heard the negotiations. Then he asked for his mother. Soon he threatened to come out shooting. "Eventually he stopped talking altogether."

At 3:50 a.m., police borrowed a ladder from a nearby fire station and scaled the roof of the Ship of Salvation Full Gospel Church at 4914 Central Ave. NE.

There, police posted a marksman with a high-powered rifle. Another marksman waited at the rear of the day care building.

Police "called me and told me to go to the second floor of my house, then go to the back of my house and stay low," the neighbor said. "I was warned there would be an explosion."

Thirty minutes later, the final drama began:

4:20 a.m. -- "He's made it clear he's armed and if he comes out, he's shooting," one officer said over the police radio.

4:25 a.m. -- "Make sure everybody is tactically located so there's no cross fire. If he runs toward the firehouse, we've got him. If he comes out with a gun, shoot him. You've got the green light," the tactical commander told the marksman on the roof. "If he runs into the alley, he belongs to you," the commander said to the marksman in the rear of the building.

4:30 a.m. -- "Are you ready with the {tear} gas?" The exchange over the police radio continued.

4:31 a.m. -- "Use the baseballs and just toss them in there," the commander said, referring to tear gas canisters.

4:32 a.m. -- "Sniper One, one more time. If the subject comes out, take a shot. If he bolts and runs, watch out for the people in front of me."

4:33 a.m. -- "Make sure you're hidden behind that wall," the commander said to another officer.

4:34 a.m. -- "If he comes out with the gas, you still flashbang him," the commander told an officer, referring to concussion grenades that create brilliant bursts of light and are designed to cause temporary disorientation.

4:35 a.m. -- "Does my order still stand, Captain?" Sniper One asked.


4:36 a.m. -- "We're getting on our masks right now. Once you're ready, let me know," the commander said.

4:38 a.m. -- "You got the alley covered?"

4:39 a.m. -- "Ready with the gas."

4:40 a.m. -- The explosion of a tear gas canister is heard. Followed by sounds of gunshots. Followed by the boom and bright flash of the concussion grenade.

Police later said that when the tear gas was fired, the man came running out, shooting. The marksman fired once, striking the man in the chest. Another officer fired once, striking the man in the leg.

4:40 a.m. -- "The subject is still moving," said one officer.

"Can you see both hands?" asked another.

"The subject is still moving. He's hurt, but I can't see his hands."

4:41 a.m. -- "He's groaning, but he won't talk to us," an officer said.

4:43 a.m. -- Another flashbang.

4:43 a.m. -- "There's no movement from the subject at this time. He's 15 feet in front of me. He is making noise. I cannot see his hands."

Seconds later, "Both hands are in front of him. The weapon could possibly be in front of him."

4:44 a.m. -- "I can't tell if he's conscious or not."

4:46 a.m. -- "I'm going to move this bunker against the fence," an officer said as he moved closer to the man's body. "Maybe I can see his hands."

Seconds later, "I can't get a clear view of his hands."

4:48 a.m. -- "Get an ambulance up here, Captain."

5:02 a.m. -- "Call Lt. Prue from homicide right away . . . . "

The gunman lay dead.