(MOBILE, Ala.) - The driver who ran over a 20-year-old man on a downtown street had the "intent to kill," according to friends of the victim who witnessed the accident.
Friends of Zach Soutullo told Local 15 they were going home after a night out and were crossing the street when an older model black Tahoe pulled up. According to friends, Soutullo got into an argument with the men inside the SUV. The driver then allegedlyhit the gas, and ran over Soutullo.
"It was the most brutal, horrifying thing that I've ever seen," Justin Aubreytold Local 15.
Aubrey said the Tahoe drove away, leaving Soutullo battered, bleeding and clinging to life in the street.
"He was bleeding and his clothes were shredded," friend Tony Chenoweth said.
Soutullo's friends said they immediately called 911 and an ambulance showed up quickly. Police said Soutullo was unconscious and unresponsive, but breathing. He was taken to USA Medical Center in critical condition.
Soutullo's family told Local 15 he has a number of serious injuries and broken bones, but doctors are most concerned about his brain. Soutullo underwent emergency surgery to remove part of his skull to relieve pressure.
"His brain is swelling," Soutullo's aunt Rachel Sheppard told Local 15. "It's just a wait and see at this point, in the days to come, to see how severe his brain injury is. The first 72 hours are critical."
Sheppard said dozens of family members and friends have been by Soutullo's side since the accident.
"Close to 70 people... was here praying for him, pulling for him," Sheppard said.
While they're praying Soutullo will pull through, friends and family are also praying for police to catch the men responsible.
"Even though our first main priority is getting him better, we are hoping and praying justice does come," Sheppard said.
Another driver tried to pursue the suspect's vehicle, but was unable to get a tag number. Soutullo's friends said they did not know who the people were in the SUV.
Police told Local 15 the occupants of the SUV are described as white males, and the Tahoe is believed to be a '97 to '99 model.