UPDATE: Police: Suspect in Bush's doctor's death killed himself

4 months 2 weeks 1 day ago Friday, August 03 2018 Aug 3, 2018 Friday, August 03, 2018 12:20:00 PM CDT August 03, 2018 in News
By: JUAN A. LOZANO, Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — A man accused of killing one of former President George H.W. Bush's doctors fatally shot himself during a confrontation with authorities in Houston on Friday morning, the city's police chief said.

Joseph James Pappas, 62, was accused of shooting Dr. Mark Hausknecht on July 20, while the cardiologist rode his bike to work at Houston Methodist Hospital.

Authorities have said Pappas might have been seeking revenge for his mother, who died on the doctor's operating table more than 20 years ago, in April 1997.

"It's a sad day all the way around. This doesn't bring anybody back. It does bring closure to this community," Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said of Pappas' death.

Authorities on Wednesday had announced Pappas as a suspect in the death, saying he should be considered armed, dangerous and possibly suicidal.

Police found him Friday after a worker for a local nonprofit reported seeing him around 9:21 a.m. near a community center by a bayou. The worker found a wallet with an ID that belonged to Pappas.

Pappas fled on foot to a nearby neighborhood in southwest Houston, where he was confronted by a police officer. Pappas refused to raise both his hands, keeping his right hand by his hip, Acevedo said. Pappas was wearing a bullet-proof vest and a backpack.

"The suspect said something about suicide and the officer said, 'Let me see some hands,'" Acevedo said.

When a second officer arrived, Pappas raised a revolver he had been hiding in his right hand and fatally shot himself in the head in front of a home, police said. His body was still at the scene Friday afternoon.

Pappas had worked in law enforcement for more than 30 years and was also a licensed real estate broker, state records show. Friday's confrontation occurred about 3 1/2 miles (5 1/2 kilometers) from his Houston home.

Hausknecht was shot in broad daylight at the Texas Medical Center, a 1,345-acre (545-hectare) complex of hospitals and medical institutions that in the morning is busy with traffic, medical professionals heading to work, people going to medical appointments and construction workers.

Autopsy results show he was shot three times, including in the head and torso. Police have said Pappas was a marksman and the shots that Pappas was accused of firing as he also rode on a bike "took some skill."

When police searched Pappas' home on Tuesday, officers found an extensive intelligence file he had put together on Hausknecht, which included detailed information about the doctor's home and his work.

Inside this file was also a list with a dozen names of other doctors and employees at the Texas Medical Center, said Acevedo, adding that authorities didn't consider this a "hit list." Those names were turned over to the medical center.

According to a charging document released on Friday, police also found in Pappas' home three boxes of .22-caliber ammunition, the same type that was recovered from the scene of Hausknecht's shooting. Police also found what was described as Pappas' "last will and testament."

Pappas had worked from 1983 through 1995 as a peace officer with two Houston-area constable offices. He also worked from 1995 through 2013 as a reserve officer for these same constable offices, according to records from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

Police said they checked and didn't find evidence that Pappas might have been staying in vacant homes he would have had access to as a real estate broker. They suspect he might have been sleeping outdoors while he had been on the run.
Friends and family have described Hausknecht as a humble and generous man who was adored by his patients, volunteered in his community and cared about the environment.

Hausknecht was also an avid cyclist and rode his bike to work each morning, as he lived less than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from his office.

In 2000, Hausknecht treated Bush for an irregular heartbeat after the ex-president complained about lightheadedness.

No disciplinary action had ever been taken against Hausknecht, according to the Texas Medical Board.
___
This story has been corrected to show that the person who first spotted the suspect was a worker for a local nonprofit and not a city worker.

More News

Grid
List
NEW BLOOMFIELD - The Holts Summit Police Department will include New Bloomfield in its coverage area again in 2019. ... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 10:31:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Bird scooter injuries are a growing problem in Columbia, with those who get hurt on the scooters left... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 7:25:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - December is filled with festivities, but an emergency trip to the veterinarian can spoil all the holiday cheer.... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 7:02:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A year and a half ago, Rhonda Watson found herself at a crossroad: Go to prison or go... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 6:56:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A 24-year-old Missouri man was sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole for participating in... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 6:12:06 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - This week Hitachi announced a takeover of ABB, worth a purchase price of $11 billion. It's... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 4:53:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
ST.LOUIS - Missouri salt supply usage is at a high since early snowfall hit the midwest in November. In... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 3:30:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Retired employees of the Columbia Electric Utilities are frustrated with the city for its lack of action in... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 3:18:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Supporters of criminal justice reform are questioning a move by assistant prosecutors in St. Louis County... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 2:40:58 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Public Service Commission held the first of two formal hearings to determine whether an interstate... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 1:34:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration moved Tuesday to officially ban bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 12:28:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
BOWLING GREEN - Charles Erickson, who is serving time in prison for the 2001 murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 10:16:29 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A man awaiting sentencing for attacking his grandparents filed a motion Friday, seeking acquittal on one of the... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 9:05:36 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
CALIFORNIA - A Fortuna man pleaded guilty Friday to charges related to the 2017 death of his young son. ... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 8:55:00 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Public Service Commission held a hearing on the Grain Belt Express on Tuesday. In... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 5:34:00 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
PETTIS COUNTY - Tom Belsha has lived on Crestview Drive for twenty years. He has been questioning the quality of... More >>
1 day ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 8:39:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in Top Stories
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Missouri woman who told police she intentionally drove into the Kansas River while trying to... More >>
1 day ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 6:34:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Denico Crawley, the man convicted of murder stemming from the case of Quenten Hurt, was sentenced to 105 years... More >>
1 day ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 6:06:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 44°
3am 41°
4am 40°
5am 39°
6am 39°