Homicide detectives were searching for the driver of an SUV that fatally struck a man in a residential neighborhood in Palmdale on Thursday, officials said.
Authorities were called around 4:10 p.m. after the victim was hit outside a home in the 38500 block of 35th Street East, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said in a news release.
The incident was initially reported as an assault with a deadly weapon, detectives said.
Deputies who responded discovered the victim had been rammed into and pinned against a residence by a champagne-colored SUV.
A woman at the scene named Lorraine said she knew the victim and witnessed the aftermath of the crash. She said the SUV had "purposefully hit him."
"I was in the house and I heard screaming outside," she said. "When I looked out the window, I seen my friend crashed into the garage wall — and looked like he was actually dead — by some guy in the truck."
The man was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The victim was in his mid-20s, according to Lorraine.
"It's upsetting," she said. "You don't really know how to think about it because it just happened like that."
The suspect fled the area, heading north on 35th Street East, officials said. Detectives were still working to piece together a description of the attacker.
Video from the scene showed the street was closed to through traffic as investigators worked to process evidence late Thursday evening.
Anyone with information can contact the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips may be submitted via 800-222-8477 or LACrimeStoppers.org.