A gunman opened fire early Monday outside the entrance gate of the Central Intelligence Agency, killing two people and wounding three with a spray of rifle fire, Fairfax County authorities said.

The gunman, who fired into cars stopped in rush-hour traffic outside the agency, fled the scene and remained at large. A police manhunt ensued in the vicinity of the CIA, which is sheltered in a wooded area a few miles west of Washington."He was just shooting at everything, he looked like he had an attitude. He looked like he wanted to kill somebody, he shot everywhere," said Larry Bright of Washington, D.C., who witnessed the shooting from a commuter bus.

Hospital officials said two of the wounded were in critical condition, and the third was in stable condition.

Sen. Bob Smith, a New Hampshire Republican, was among the witnesses.

"He was just systematically walking down and shooting in the cars. There was no emotion that I saw," Smith said.

Hours after the shootings, the two dead people were still slumped in their cars near the gate, providing a grotesque backdrop for live television reports from the scene. Helicopters buzzed overhead as the search for the gunman in-ten-si-fied.

Police described the gunman as a white male with brown hair, 5-foot-10 inches, wearing a dark jacket and pants and carrying a long-barreled rifle.

Police said they were searching for a light-brown compact station wagon. Police found a white van in which the suspect had earlier been thought to have escaped and ruled it out as the getaway vehicle.

According to witnesses and local authorities, the incident began at about 8 a.m. when the gunman began shooting into cars that were waiting to turn left into the roadway leading to the CIA's main gate.

It was not immediately known whether the shooting had any connection with the CIA or its employees.