President's cardiologist murdered over '20-year-old grudge'
- Author: Jon Douglas Aug 03, 2018,
Aug 03, 2018, 10:26
"There was a lot of planning that went into this", he said. The Houston Police Department said the house was cleared just after midnight Friday, and that their search for the ex-deputy constable continues.
Investigators think Pappas, a 62-year-old real estate agent and former constable, might have killed Dr. Mark Hausknecht as revenge for his own mother's death on an operating table 20 years ago, while she was being treated by the famed cardiologist, Houston police said Wednesday.
"This man is risky".
"Evidence has been obtained that ties this man to this crime and we believe that this absolutely is the killer of Dr. Hausknecht", Acevedo said, adding that Pappas has thus far eluded capture and poses a public safety risk.
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. Pappas, 65, was not in the home at the time of the police search and can not be located.
"There was a lot of planning that went into this, and sadly, some skill", Acevedo told reporters.
Joseph James Pappas is charged with capital murder.
Spencer said another of her daughters knew Pappas was angry with "a doctor" over the death of his mother, but didn't know his name. "So this appears this may be a 20 year old grudge".
Both men were on their bikes on July 20 when Pappas rode past Hausknecht before turning around and fatally shooting him, police said.
"There was a text that he sent to someone that said he was going to kill himself", Acevedo said.
A tip on Tuesday led police to suspect Pappas, the chief said, though he didn't elaborate as to the nature of the tip.
Police previously released surveillance images of the shooting, which took place as Hausknecht rode a bicycle to work, and shared eyewitness testimony of the shooting. His service continued from 1995 to 1997 as a reserve officer for Precinct 7 and from 1997 to July 2013 as a reserve officer for Precinct 2.
At the time of the doctor's death, former President Bush called him "a fantastic cardiologist and a good man".
Hausknecht's wife, Georgia Hsieh, said police told her that her husband was riding through a construction site when the gunman rode up in front of him and fired three shots while facing him. "I will always be grateful for his exceptional, compassionate care", the statement read.
Former president George H.W. Bush waves as he leaves Methodist Hospital with his cardiologist, Mark Hausknecht, on February 25, 2000, after a news conference in Houston.