Lufkin Middle School Shooter Arrested
February 5th there was a stolen vehicle pursuit in Lufkin that ended near Brookshire Brothers on Chestnut, in front of UBank. I was in the area driving towards this altercation to get a story. Knowing what I know now I would have stayed at the station. What seemed like a rash of crime around Lufkin, has turned out to just be one person, and a couple of his friends. They were chasing that truck for a lot more reasons than a stolen vehicle.
LMS SHOOTING ARREST: Detectives have filed an attempted murder warrant in connection to the Jan. 28 shooting in front of Lufkin Middle School.
The warrant was served on 17-year-old Davonsea Thomas, of Lufkin, in the Angelina County Jail. Thomas has remained in jail on a $185,000 bond since his Feb. 5 in connection to a pursuit on a stolen pickup.
At the time of his arrest, Thomas was in possession of a pair of white, cotton gloves and a revolver – two pieces of evidence that would later tie him to the near-fatal shooting of 17-year-old LaPatrick Wright.
On the evening of Jan. 28, Wright and a friend, who are both from Nacogdoches, met at the middle school to watch a basketball game. According to Wright’s friend, while at the school, they crossed paths with two men who Wright recognized as members of a “rival” Lufkin gang known as “JaccBoyWorld.”
Wright’s friend said that Wright asked the two men if they were part of JaccBoyWorld and they said they were. (We will note that Wright’s friend never admitted that he and Wright are members of the rival Nacogdoches gang known as GSO which stands for “Gang (Expletive) Only.”)
Wright and the men agreed to go to the front of the school to fight. Wright and one of the men began squaring up when the men took a pair of white gloves from his pocket and put them on. When Wright questioned him about it, the man told him, “That’s how I fight.”
Wright’s friend said that Wright and the man were within punching distance of each other when the man suddenly pulled out a handgun and began firing shots.
The two suspects fled on foot toward Cook Tire/Martha Street while Wright’s friend ran to get help.
Detectives did not find any shell casings that night, which led them to believe a revolver was used. Wright’s friend also mentioned that he believed the weapon may have been a revolver.
Though no shell casings were recovered from the scene, a bullet was removed from the victim’s leg was collected as evidence.
Officers patrolled the area for hours that night but did not locate the suspects.
In the days that followed, Det. Starlan Glawson contacted neighboring businesses to see if their surveillance footage may hold clues to what transpired.
Video from Cook Tire showed a white, lifted Chevy truck park in a nearby alley and two subjects walk toward the middle school just before the shooting.
A Ring doorbell camera from a home on Martha Street caught the sound of four rounds being fired followed by the men fleeing the scene. Another neighboring business had footage of the truck pulling out of the alley to flee the area following the incident.
As Glawson continued his investigation, he learned that the suspect vehicle matched the description of one recently stolen from a home in the Fuller Springs area. He received additional information linking that same truck to several other gang-related robberies and a shooting in Nacogdoches.
With the new information, the detective’s top priority shifted to locating the stolen pickup with the belief that it would lead to the shooting suspect.
Eight days after the middle school shooting, detectives canvasing the city for the stolen vehicle, came across it near Walmart.
Patrol officers were immediately notified and quickly arrived to find the vehicle in the Walmart parking lot. They initiated a traffic stop, but the driver refused to stop. A high-speed pursuit ensued which went from Walmart to near Fresh Market Brookshire Brothers on Chestnut Street. The driver and two passengers fled on foot after crashing into a street sign.
Officers ran all three down and they were taken into custody. The driver of the stolen pickup was identified as Thomas. In his possession at the time of his arrest was a pair of white, cotton gloves and a .357 magnum revolver.
Believing the revolver may have been the weapon used in the middle school shooting, the detective had a ballistics check done using the bullet recovered from Wright’s leg. Though those tests typically take weeks, a Texas Ranger helped expedite the process. A detective delivered the bullet recovered from Wright’s leg to the crime lab in Tyler the morning of Feb. 7. At 1 p.m. the same day, Det. Glawson was notified that the bullet recovered from Wright’s leg had been fired from Thomas’ revolver.
Based on the evidence, the detective has identified Thomas as the shooter.
Wright is continuing his recovery from four gunshot wounds in a Houston-area hospital. The shots penetrated his hand, arm, leg and chest resulting in the loss of one of his fingers and damage to multiple organs. He must wear a colostomy bag due to the extent of his injuries.
Thomas remains in the Angelina County Jail. His bond on the attempted murder warrant was set at $100,000, bringing his total bond amount to $285,000.
Additional arrests and charges are pending as the investigation continues.
This was a long process, and I am proud of the Lufkin Police Department Detectives. This story is a testament to their hard work, and it has paid off. I think we are going to see a little calmer 2020 going forward.