Houston police this week named a suspect in the murder of Mark Hausknecht, MD, a surgeon who was fatally shot last month as he bicycled to work at Houston Methodist Hospital. Authorities identified the shooter as Joseph James Pappas, a 62-year-old white male who resides in Houston. It’s believed the motive is the death of the suspect’s mother during surgery over two decades ago.
“So it appears that this may be a 20 year old grudge that this man held,” Houston police chief Art Acevedo said during a press conference.
“I don’t know when he decided to do this, but I’m very familiar with how this murder was committed and there was a lot of planning that went into this,” Acevedo added. “There was a lot of planning and sadly some skill.”
Records indicate Pappas used to work in law enforcement, and police believe he owned multiple weapons. CNN is reporting that in the days following the shooting, multiple firearms and associated items were offered for sale on an auction website using a phone number connected to the suspect.
At the press conference, Houston police cautioned residents that Pappas should be considered armed and dangerous.
Hausknecht was honored at a memorial service over the weekend. He was remembered fondly by family, colleagues, and former patients.
“He was a very patient man,” patient Tom Raguse said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “If you went in for an appointment, he would sit down with you afterwards, discuss your blood tests, or whatever tests you had, and talk about family. Most doctors don’t take the time to do that. But he always did.”
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