A 27-year-old African American reporter who committed herself to covering the Blackest, most neglected portion of the District of Columbia was shot to death Wednesday night when, police said, she was used as a human shield in an exchange of gunfire by two groups of dirt bike riders.

Charnice Milton, who lived east of the Anacostia River, the area she covered, was a contributor to Capital Community News and a graduate of Ball State and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She was shot as she walked on one of the area's major streets to transfer buses. Milton had covered the monthly meeting of a community advisory committee.