PHOTOS: Living under the 7th Street bridge

Living under the 7th Street bridge

For residents along a stretch of the L.A. River, the shooting of five people a year ago made a perilous place feel even more so. Audio slide show I Story

AMANDA: Amanda Howard, 31, draws inside her makeshift tent under the 7th Street Bridge next to the Los Angeles River, in Long Beach. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

RAVEN: "Raven" shoots pigeons with a BB gun as a cat waits for its meal under the 7th Street Bridge next to the Los Angeles River, in Long Beach. Raven spends his days mostly reading, drinking coffee and working on his bike. He says he is a former carney. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

LIMA AND BIG RED: Lima Mailoto, 35, with her boyfriend, "Big Red," inside their hovel. Lima sings and Big Red cries as he listens to her lovely voice. Lima says she has lived on the L.A. River for about four years. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

JOKER: A man who goes by the name "Joker" peaks his head into Jolene Musgrove's window. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

MAMA JO: Jolene Musgrove, 51, says "the river has gotten a lot meaner." Jolene lives under the 7th Street Bridge in Long Beach. "People are more ruthless," she says. "They want more for nothing. They figure what you got they have to have so they are going to steal it no matter how they have to do it, you know? If they have to take your life they are going to take it." (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

COOKING AREA: Jolene Musgrove, 51, cooks breakfast. She survives on food stamps and a general-relief checks. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

JOHN: John Lackey, 42, says he is a drug addict and does not want help. He said, "I want to be high so that I don't feel sick so I can do my drawings and pass away with some happiness because I never got it anywhere in this world." (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

LOST IN ART: Lackey gets lost in his drawings. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

RICHARD: Richard, who didn't give his last name, relaxes. Richard said he is a former carny and now has cancer. He was beaten up the first week of November by a group of seven people under the bridge. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

TOMMY: Tommy, who also didn't reveal his last name, said he use to work painting yachts until he became homeless. He lives in his tent with his dog "Jack." He uses a makeshift oven to bake some pastries. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

'SECURITY': A man who calls himself "Security," sitting at the entrance of his tent. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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