A man was shot at least twice in the head and killed Thursday afternoon near a busy road in Northeast Washington. The crime scene, staked out by police, could be seen by Metrorail passengers heading into the Minnesota Avenue station.

The shooting occurred about 12:40 p.m. in the 3600 block of Benning Road, just west of the Anacostia Freeway. The victim, pronounced dead at the scene, lay on his back on 36th Street next to a grassy median strip and surrounded by more than a dozen evidence markers put down by police.

Motorists in southbound lanes of Benning Road were slowed by police vehicles crowding the intersection at 36th Street, and yellow police tape and cruisers were in full view of passengers on the slowing Metro trains on elevated tracks that skirted the shooting scene.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said detectives had just begun their investigation and had little information. She described the River Terrace neighborhood as typically quiet and urged anyone seeing a black Toyota Camry with dark tinted windows and Pennsylvania license plates to call police. The vehicle was seen speeding away from the shooting scene with two occupants, police said.

James Cohen, 64, said he was sitting on the front porch of a friend’s house about a half-block from the shooting scene — between an abandoned restaurant lot and a car repair shop — and heard seven to eight gunshots.

He said he walked over to the body before police arrived and recognized the victim as a man in his early 30s who grew up in River Terrace and had hung out there in recent years.

This item has been updated.