Published: Fri, August 03, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Police ID suspect in Houston cardiologist's murder

Police ID suspect in Houston cardiologist's murder

A Painesville woman has unwittingly become party to the investigation of a man suspected of killing one of former President George H.W. Bush's doctors.

The suspect's mother was a patient of Hausknecht who died during surgery decades ago, according to the Houston Police Department.

"The suspect had not been heard from by people that know him for over 24 hours and there is a text that he sent someone that said he was going to kill himself", the police chief said.

A suspect wanted in the fatal shooting of a prominent Houston cardiologist is the subject of an arrest warrant, Houston police said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Joseph James Pappas (left) has been named as the suspect in the murder of cardiologist Dr Mark Hausknecht (right) who was shot dead on his bicycle on July 20.

Hausknecht was shot on his way to work at Houston Methodist Hospital - he was known to bike to work everyday. Acevedo said officers found evidence connecting the suspect to Hausknecht's death while searching his home, but Pappas was no where to be found.

Acevedo explained that residents close to the shooting examined their home security video, and police were able to obtain an image on Monday that led to Pappas's identification through additional tips. "There was a lot of planning and sadly some skill".

Hausknecht, 65, treated the former president for an irregular heartbeat in February 2000, after Bush complained about lightheadedness during a visit to Florida.

The suspect is considered armed and unsafe, and reportedly made phone calls in which he discussed committing suicide. Police said the doctor was likely targeted and implored witnesses to come forward with any information.

Cops had previously released surveillance images of the shooting, which occurred as Hausknecht was riding a bicycle to work, and shared eyewitness testimony of the shooting.

Houston Methodist Hospital, where Dr Hausknecht worked for almost 30 years, said in a statement it is "still in shock about the senseless killing of one of our longtime physicians".

The murder prompted praise for Dr. Hausknecht from the Bush family who described him as a "fantastic cardiologist" and "good man". "I will always be grateful for his exceptional, compassionate care", the statement read.

The former president offered his condolences to the family in a written statement.

He is understood to have been living alone in a three-bedroom house in Houston since the death of his father, Joseph James Pappas I, in 2010.

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