From assaults to burglaries, gang activity is on the rise in Lufkin.Just this summer, several incidents have been linked back to area gangs. The most recent incident was Friday, when a man was shot in the leg at the intersection of Jones and Cunningham.Authorities were able to trace the shooting back to rival gangs The East Siders and The Savages. Officer Brandon Smith with the Lufkin Police said things weren't always this way.
"The East Siders started as The Savages," Smith said.
Smith said the Savages originated somewhere other than the street. It was a name given to a couple of juveniles who ran the football field during the day and streets during the night.
"The Savages and East Siders were originally friends and played football at Lufkin High School. "Some of the guys didn't like how things were going and branched off," Smith said.
Smith said many of these gang member have graduated to bigger things, but traces still remain. In fact, last month Lufkin Police had to investigate an incident involving one gang member pulling a gun on another at Lufkin High School. What may appear to be small town high school drama is a part of a bigger picture."Since they have gotten out of high school, they have joined bigger groups such as the Bloods or the Crips. The Savages have moved on to the Bloods," Smith said.