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Police: Houston cardiologist likely targeted

Houston police released an artist's sketch and surveillance images of a cyclist who they say shot and killed Mark Hausknecht, an acclaimed cardiologist who treated former President George H.W. Bush. CNN's Sonia Moghe reports.

Posted: Jul 30, 2018 8:13 AM
Updated: Jul 30, 2018 8:13 AM

Family and friends gathered to honor famed Houston cardiologist Dr. Mark Hausknecht on Saturday, less than two miles from where he was shot to death in broad daylight last week.

More than 800 people filled the First Presbyterian Church of Houston, a church official estimated, to remember the doctor whose many patients included former President George H.W. Bush.

"Mark was a guy who shunned the limelight despite all the pictures of him with George H.W. Bush," said Neal Kleiman, a close friend and colleague of Hausknecht. "It's ironic that when we think about Mark that's the last thing we think about. We think about him being such a private, quiet person, rather than one who takes care of the stars."

In eight days since Hausknecht was killed by a gunman on a bicycle, no arrests have been made, despite the suspect being recorded on surveillance cameras in the area.

Houston police have said there is a "high probability" that Hausknecht was targeted, but emphasized the motive is still unknown.

Kleiman, medical director of the cardiac catheterization lab at the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center, where Hausknecht worked, gave a eulogy in the packed church.

"It was a privilege to be his friend," Kleiman said, summarizing his remarks. "This guy had a very broad and varied life. There are a trillion stories."

Some mourners wore their Boy Scouts uniforms to honor the man who led Troop 11 while his two sons were scouts. Members of Troop 11 served as ushers Saturday.

Hausknecht's family also held a private Buddhist ceremony earlier this week, Kleiman told CNN, since the doctor had embraced Buddhism in recent years.

"He was just a very down-to-earth guy," Brent Sherman, a family friend, told reporters outside the funeral. "Just so humble, so nice."

Media were asked not to attend the service to respect the family's privacy.

Sherman and Kleiman echoed many others who told CNN this week they couldn't fathom why Hausknecht -- described as a warm and "very special" person -- would be murdered.

Hundreds working where doctor slain

First Presbyterian is 1.5 miles from the bustling Medical Center area where Hausknecht was killed while riding his bright yellow bike to work.

He was found just feet away from a construction site where about 500 workers were on duty at the time he was killed, according to a construction manager at the site. But none of them heard anything because of their equipment.

"We couldn't hear anything because we have stuff here that's louder than guns," the construction manager said.

Scaffolding partially blocks the sidewalk from view, and the construction manager said he and his colleagues didn't realize anything had happened until they saw emergency vehicles arrive.

"When we seen the yellow bike, we automatically knew it was him," the construction manager said.

Hausknecht was a friendly commuter, the man added. He passed by every day and always greeted workers.

Footage of Hausknecht riding his bike was taken from a Houston Metro Lift Bus and shared publicly in the days after his death. The video shows the suspected gunman trailing closely behind the physician, just three blocks from where he was shot.

That section of road has security cameras nearby, but they face away from where Hausknecht would have been when he was shot.

Police have asked residents and businesses in the area to look through their own surveillance footage for any images of the gunman. Police said potential witnesses were in the area and released a sketch of the possible gunman.

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