A 23-year-old Oxon Hill man charged this month in what prosecutors called a racially motivated shooting rampage in Southeast Washington may have been seeking revenge for the slaying days earlier of a friend in a drug-related incident.

At a preliminary hearing yesterday, a homicide detective said that Ian James Blair had motioned one of the nine shooting victims to his car in the early morning hours Oct. 11 and asked "if he knew Mike."

The detective did not disclose the identity of Mike, but police sources close to the case believe Blair's shooting rampage may be tied to the Oct. 7 death of Michael Goodwin.

Goodwin, a 32-year-old Temple Hills man, was found shot to death in his car in the 1000 block of Varney Street SE.

Blair, described by some who knew him as a quiet, average young man, was ordered held without bond this week and charged with first-degree murder and assault with intent to kill in the shooting rampage in Southeast Washington that left one man dead, two seriously injured and a community in uproar.

Shots were fired at nine people. Blair has been charged with two of the incidents. Prosecutors allege that after Blair shot one man, he said, "Live or die, nigger."

In another development at the hearing, defense attorney Greta Van Susteren complained that her client was being subjected to the "most cruel and unusual treatment I've ever heard about at D.C. Jail." She said other prisoners had thrown urine on Blair and screamed all day and night at him, including yelling, "Hey, whitey, we're going to kill you, too." Less than 5 percent of the prisoners at the D.C. Jail are white.

Van Susteren also said a guard had refused to give Blair a blanket and that he had been unable to get medical attention for a hand injured after he crashed into a utility pole during a chase with police that led to his arrest. Van Susteren requested unsuccessfully that Blair be transferred from his cell in protective custody to the jail's infirmary.

The shooting rampage has been the subject of numerous protests in the Washington Highlands community because of the apparent random selection of the victims and the initial treatment of Blair after his arrest. Blair originally was charged with second-degree murder and released on a $10,000 bond.

About a week later, prosecutors increased Blair's charges to first-degree murder and assault with intent to kill. Prosecutors and court officials vehemently denied that race played any factor in the initial charging decision and pointed out that it was not until conclusive ballistic tests had been returned that Blair could be linked to the shootings. They also pointed out that far more black defendants are released on bond in first-degree murder cases than whites.

The statements by the homicide detective at yesterday's hearing represented the first public suggestion of a motive by police. Detective Herman H. Johnson told prosecutor Debra Long-Doyle that Blair fired three shots at one man after the man responded that he did not know the Mike about whom Blair had asked. Johnson said the victim later identified Blair from a photo array as his assailant.

Police sources said this week they believe Blair's alleged shooting rampage may be tied to the death of Michael Goodwin. "We have pretty well established that {Blair} was friends with Goodwin," said one police official. "We believe it was a purposeful shooting to revenge the murder of Goodwin."

Police sources believe Goodwin drove to Varney Street, a one-block street known as an active cocaine market, to buy drugs and was killed when he tried to fend off a robber.

At the time Blair was arrested, police found traces of a white powder believed to be cocaine and drug paraphernalia, including a small portable torch. Police also found a loaded semiautomatic .22-caliber pistol under Blair's car and an extensive amount of ammunition in Blair's car and his shirt pocket. Bullets recovered from the shooting victims match the ammunition found in Blair's car and the gun, the detective said.

After listening to more than an hour of testimony, Judge Truman A. Morrison III ruled that probable caused existed and that there was "clear and convincing evidence" that Blair was dangerous, a finding required to hold a defendant without bond in a first-degree murder case.

The judge also said he could not order Blair's transfer without an additional hearing, but said he would alert jail officials to complaints about Blair's treatment and order immediate medical treatment.

Blair, who has no previous arrest record and worked as a radio installer, glanced nervously back toward his parents throughout the hearing. He appeared to mouth "I love you" to his parents shortly before being escorted back to the cell block at the end of the hearing.

Blair's father, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, touched prosecutor Long-Doyle as he left the courtroom and said, "We're praying for everyone involved. We love you."

After the hearing, Blair's father declined to comment except to say that civilized behavior is "encoded at home." Friends, relatives and classmates interviewed this week portrayed Blair as a well-mannered young man who was eager to help neighbors and his family.

"You might expect that sort of thing from other children {in the neighborhood}, but not from Ian," said one woman who had known him since his teen-age years.

Blair was a student at Catholic University for one year and was more recently a part-time student at Prince George's Community College. He worked full time installing car radios for a Virginia company. One of Blair's classmates at Oxon Hill High School, where he graduated in 1985, remembered him from the chess club, the only activity listed for Blair in the yearbook.

"He was a pretty quiet kid," said Brenda Averitt.

Blair's school counselor, Bonnie Jenkins, remembers him "as an average young man. There was nothing unusual about him."