A man was shot and seriously injured Saturday inside a Department of Motor Vehicles office near Pasadena, apparently during an argument over his girlfriend, authorities said.
The shooting occurred at 11:30 a.m. as the victim was standing in line at the DMV building at 49 Rosemead Blvd., in an unincorporated area outside the Pasadena city limits, said Deputy Benita Hinojos of the sheriff's Information Bureau.
Cornelius Nicholson, 22, of Long Beach had been waiting in line with his girlfriend but decided to leave the building to smoke a cigarette, Hinojos said. When he returned, Nicholson became angry with a man who had struck up a conversation with the woman, and the two men began arguing, according to witnesses. The second man drew a semiautomatic pistol from his pocket and shot Nicholson once in the upper body, Hinojos said.
"This just happened to take place inside a DMV office," Hinojos said. "It could have been a Denny's or a Wal-Mart or anywhere else. It appears to (have occurred) because he was talking to her."
As Nicholson collapsed on the floor, the gunman ran out the back door of the DMV office and heading toward Colorado Boulevard, authorities said.
Sheriff's deputies have not identified the man, but said he is a male black, about 20 years old, 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds. He was wearing blue pants, a blue and white striped shirt and black boots, Hinojos said.
Nicholson was taken to a local hospital, where he was upgraded to fair condition after surgery.