A 22-year-old Jamaican man with ties to New York and Florida is wanted on murder charges stemming from the drug-related slaying of two women that was witnessed by four toddlers in a Northwest Washington apartment Saturday evening, police said yesterday.

Two women were wounded, one of them critically, in what police described as an execution spawned by discord among Jamaican drug gang members. A warrant was issued for Marlin Chin, whom police described as armed and extremely dangerous. Three other men are suspected in the shootings, but no other warrants had been issued by late yesterday.

When D.C. police arrived at the second-floor, recently renovated apartment at 1436 Meridian Place NW they found three girls and one boy -- ages 16 months to 3 years -- trying to awaken the women, sources said. None of the children was hurt.

An autopsy performed yesterday on one of the women, described as in her early thirties, revealed that she was four weeks pregnant, sources said.

"Four men entered {the apartment} and shot one lady right off the bat. Then they tied the other ones up and shot them, right in front of the kids," said one law enforcement source. "They shot them one by one. They fell right on top of each other, one after the other."

Although the unidentified victims and the suspects are believed to be Jamaicans because of documents found in the apartment, their relationships to each other were unclear yesterday, police and federal law enforcement officials said.

Also, police found what one source described as "a significant quantity" of drug paraphernalia, shell casings from automatic or semiautomatic weapons, and large numbers of identification documents, many indicating Jamaican nationality, sources said.

Jamaican drug dealers, organized into gangs they call posses, have emerged as leaders of escalating and increasingly violent battles over lucrative cocaine markets in the Washington area, federal law enforcement officials said. Saturday night's shootings brought the number of homicides in the District this year to 49, twice the number at this time last year.

Hallmarks of the posses include members armed with sophisticated arrays of fraudulent documents, numerous aliases and semiautomatic and automatic weapons, according to police and federal law enforcement officials.

Yesterday a felony murder arrest warrant was issued for Chin, whom police described as the chief suspect in the Meridian Place killings. Chin, who was last seen in a dark-colored full-sized sedan with Florida tags, is also wanted on a 1985 aggravated assault warrant in Camden, N.J., police sources said.

D.C. police officials were reluctant to disclose details of the case yesterday, saying that the identities of the women, pictures of Chin and possibly information on the other men would be released at a news conference today.

But police sources yesterday said that documents and drug paraphernalia found at the two-bedroom apartment and interviews with at least one of the surviving women indicated that the slayings centered on discord over drug dealings.

"It's apparently drug-related," said Inspector William Riley, the D.C. police department's watch commander on duty yesterday. "Now it might come out later that there were some personal motives. The investigation is very preliminary at this point."

Three of the women were shot in the head and chest, police said. The fourth woman was shot in one arm and ran to a neighbor's apartment for help shortly after the 7:30 p.m. shootings, police said. She was in good condition at Howard University Hospital, but the other surviving woman was in serious condition at Washington Hospital Center, police said.

Police found the infants crawling over the bloody bodies, apparently trying to awaken the women. Police said yesterday that the children were placed in foster homes and that authorities were uncertain which of the women were their mothers.

Much of the confusion over identification was caused by the large array of identification papers found inside the apartment, which was rented about six weeks ago. "There were large numbers of documents, especially birth certificates for adults," said one source. "Of course you have to have birth certificates to get the other kinds of documents," such as passports, said the source.

Federal and local law enforcement officials yesterday said that the Saturday night slayings fit a pattern seen here and in cities as diverse as New York and Kansas City, Mo.

"It's your typical Jamaican drug-related murder, execution style -- like a lot of other things around here," said one member of a local and federal task force formed recently to marshal resources to solve at least 27 homicides and countless shootings involving Jamaican drug dealers in the District since January 1987.

Previously scheduled for today was the first operational meeting of that task force, which includes District and Prince George's County police, U.S. Park Police, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Meridian Place was empty and quiet yesterday, except for a whistling winter wind and a few neighbors returning from 16th Street churches or 14th Street grocery stores. The narrow, one-block street two miles north of the White House is filled with row houses and apartment buildings.

Residents of the four-story apartment building where the killings occurred said they did not know much about the residents of apartment 202. The tan front door of the apartment was covered with thick black chalk and sealed with red police evidence tape. On mailbox 202 in the building's lobby was the name "Brown."

Tenants began moving into the apartments in December after a five-month period of renovation. Neighbors said yesterday that the building had been abandoned and dilapidated for nearly a decade, and they had welcomed its transformation into one- and two-bedroom apartments that rent for $600 and $700 a month, respectively.

Outside the apartment is a courtyard with swings and slides, and in the basement is a day care center. The building has no elevator, and the front entrance is electronically locked, requiring residents to buzz in visitors.

"This is really bizarre because this building is so new and quiet, except for when kids play outside," said one resident, who asked not to be identified. "I don't think anyone knows what happened because no one knows each other. Everything is still so new here."

Ray Venero, the vice president of American Property Services, which manages the building, visited some of the tenants in the 28 apartments yesterday and said that most were shocked by the killings.

"This has been a very quiet building, mostly filled with young professionals or families, and we have a very good ethnic mix," Venero said. He said he "hardly knew" the tenants of apartment 202 and said he could not identify them.

"I never heard of anything so treacherous happening around here," said one man as he walked past the apartment building to 14th Street, about 100 yards away.

"This is one of the quietest blocks in this whole area . . . " he said. "Nothing this mean ever went down on this block before."

Staff writer Lynne Duke contributed to this report.