BREAKING NEWS One person arrested after a Marco's Pizza in Huntsville was robbed at gunpoint Full Story
SEVERE WX : Dense Fog Advisory View Alerts

Houston police say suspect in shooting of renowned cardiologist held a 20-year-old grudge

A man whose mother died during surgery 20 years ago is the suspect in the fatal shooting of a prominent Hous...

Posted: Aug 2, 2018 10:44 AM
Updated: Aug 2, 2018 10:44 AM

A man whose mother died during surgery 20 years ago is the suspect in the fatal shooting of a prominent Houston cardiologist who performed the operation, police said Wednesday.

Chief Art Acevedo said the mother of Joseph James Pappas, 62, was a patient of Dr. Mark Hausknecht, who was fatally shot as he rode his bicycle to work at Houston Methodist Hospital on July 20. Police earlier said Pappas was born in 1953.

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Shootings

Cardiology

Health and medical

Medical fields and specialties

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Continents and regions

Health care

Health care professionals

Houston

North America

Physicians and surgeons

Southwestern United States

Texas

The Americas

United States

Firearms

Weapons and arms

"So, it appears that this may be a 20-year-old grudge that this man held," Acevedo told reporters.

CNN called a phone number listed for Pappas' real estate company on Wednesday, but the call went to voice mail.

That phone number also is linked to recent listings on a firearms auction website for several guns, ammunition, tactical vests and ballistic plates for car doors. The posts, from a user in Houston, apparently went online days after Hausknecht was shot.

It is unclear whether any of the firearms listed online were used in the shooting.

A spokesman for Houston police would not comment on the ads.

Suspect likely owned several guns, chief says

Acevedo said a tip came in Tuesday after surveillance video released a day before showed the suspect, whom someone said they recognized. Police got a search warrant and went to Pappas' home, but he was not there.

Acevedo said Pappas had made phone calls indicating he was considering suicide. The suspect has not been seen in almost two days.

"This man is dangerous. This man is capable. This man has some skills (with firearms)," he said.

There was evidence at the home linking Pappas to the killing, the chief said. A lot of planning went into the killing, according to Acevedo.

The suspect appeared to own multiple guns, he said.

Pappas worked for 30 years as a constable, according to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement records.

He worked for both Harris County Constable Precincts 2 and 7 as a peace officer and a reserve officer from May 1983 to July 2013.

Pappas took law enforcement classes through August 2017.

Video captured images of suspect

The renowned cardiologist, who treated former President George H.W. Bush, and the suspect were seen shortly before the shooting riding their bicycles on South Main Street, police said.

Surveillance footage showed the suspect following Hausknecht as both pedaled north, police said.

Hausknecht's wife, Georgia Hsieh, said police told her that her husband was riding through a construction area when the gunman rode up in front of him and fired three shots while facing him.

The cardiologist was found feet away from the construction site, where about 500 workers were on duty at the time, a construction manager at the site said. But no one heard anything because of the equipment.

A close-up surveillance image showed the suspect wearing a blue, short-sleeve polo shirt, a khaki or white cap, khaki shorts and an olive-green backpack, police said.

Other surveillance images showed the suspected gunman just behind Hausknecht as both headed north on Main across West Holcombe Boulevard, police said.

Police highlighted Hausknecht with a green circle and the suspect with a red circle on images posted on Twitter. The fatal shooting happened moments after that crossing, one block away, police said.

Article Comments

Huntsville
Overcast
58° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 58°
Florence
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 60°
Fayetteville
Overcast
59° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 59°
Decatur
Overcast
59° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 59°
Scottsboro
Overcast
59° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 59°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Community Events