Houston Police ID Man They Say Murdered George H.W. Bush’s Heart Doctor Over ‘Grudge’

Houston police announced Wednesday that they know exactly who shot and killed Mark Hausknecht, a heart doctor of former President George H.W. Bush. There is an arrest warrant out for Joseph James Pappas. He is 62, according to a correction by the HPD. Officers describe him as armed and “extremely dangerous.”

Hausknecht, who helped treat Bush for a heart arrhythmia in 2000, was shot and killed during a bike ride last month. Witnesses claimed the killer, also on a bicycle, passed him, turned and open fire, police said.

An informant contacted the office Tuesday, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said at a press conference. They recognized the suspect as shown in surveillance footage released by cops, he said.

From early on, police believed the killer targeted Hausknecht, and that turned out to be the case, Acevedo said. Pappas’ mother had actually been a patient of the doctor, but she died during surgery over 20 years ago, according to a tipster.

“So it appears that this may be a 20-year-old grudge that this man held,” Acevedo said.

Investigators learned that people who knew Pappas hadn’t seen him in more than 24 hours, and a text message indicated that he threatened to commit suicide, Acevedo said. Officers didn’t find him when they went to his home Tuesday night. A search warrant didn’t turn him up at the residence.

Acevedo encouraged the public to contact authorities if they see the suspect. People shouldn’t deal with him because is considered dangerous, the chief said. He said there’s some evidence Pappas may have been a Harris County constable years ago, but he declined to elaborate because the suspect wasn’t in custody.

[Image via Houston Police Department]

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