Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo said an arrest warrant has been issued for Joseph James Pappas, 65, on a murder charge in the death of Dr. Mark Hausknecht Hausknecht was gunned down by Pappas while riding his bike to the Texas Medical Center on Friday, July 20.
According to reports, Acevedo said that Pappas’ mother died during surgery more than 20 years ago and that authorities believe that is the motive in the murder of Dr. Hausknecht. Hausknecht, a cardiologist, once treated former President George H.W. Bush.
Police say that they received a tip on Tuesday, July 31, from someone saying the recognized the suspect in the surveillance video released that was released a day earlier. After the tip, Acevedo said that police got a search warrant and went to Pappas’ home. While Pappas was not home, they found evidence at the scene linking him to the killing.
Furthermore, Acevedo said Pappas had made phone calls indicating he was considering suicide. The suspect has not been seen in almost two days.
On Friday, July 20, police say that Hausknecht was riding through a construction area when the gunman, Pappas, rode up in front of him and fired three shots. Surveillance footage showed Pappas just behind Hausknecht as both headed north on Main across West Holcombe Boulevard.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner released a statement Wednesday that read:
“The Houston Police Department’s identification of a suspect in the shooting death of Dr. Mark Hausknecht is more proof of the excellent results that come from HPD’s top notch investigators working with information provided by the public, from prominent cases to those that escape widespread attention.
“While each homicide is a tragedy for our community, I am thankful that last year’s Houston homicide count fell to a three-year low and that Chief Acevedo and his staff are using preventive approaches designed to reduce the count even further. Let us keep the family of Dr. Hausknecht in our prayers as they begin the long road to healing.
“While Houstonians can take comfort in the fact that we believe we know the identity of the suspected shooter, Joseph J. Pappas, he has not yet been located. I’m asking the public to continue to partner with police. Just as a tip led to his identity, we still need anyone with information on his whereabouts to come forward. They can call the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS and they can remain anonymous.”