News

UPDATE: Neighbor: Suspect in Murder of Houston Cardiologist Was ‘Loner’

The suspect is Joseph Pappas. His mother had been a patient of Dr. Hausknecht’s over 20 years ago and died during a surgery he was performing.

HPD has identified the suspect in the murder of Dr. Mark Hausknecht as Joseph James Pappas. Chief Art Acevedo said during a news briefing that Pappas’ mother had been a patient of Hausknecht’s about 20 years ago and died during a surgery he was performing.

The Latest on the man police suspect in the murder of Dr. Mark Hausknecht:

A neighbor of the man Houston Police Department (HPD) has identified as a suspect in the fatal shooting of Dr. Mark Hausknecht describes him as a nice, quiet man who kept to himself and had few close friends.

The Houston Police Department has identified the suspect in the murder of Dr. Mark Hausknecht as Joseph James Pappas, 65.

Jim Herd said he has known Joseph James Pappas all of his life, having attended the same high school and church as him. He said they would wave at each other in passing, last time coming on Saturday as Herd washed his car in his driveway

Pappas’ house is in an older, established neighborhood in southwest Houston. Herd said Pappas had lived in the house since birth and now lived alone since inheriting the home when his father died about 10 years ago.

Herd said he saw Pappas mowing his lawn a week after the slaying of Hausknecht.

Herd said the death about 20 years ago of Pappas’ mother during surgery hit her son hard. He remembers that Pappas stopped attending church for a long time, but he said he doesn’t remember hearing Pappas speak bitterly of her death or place blame for it.

After police released photos of the suspect, Herd said he thought it resembled Pappas but brushed the notion aside.

According to the Houston Chronicle Pappas tried selling a cache of weapons and ammunition online days after the killing. It’s unclear whether the guns listed for sale included the weapon used in the doctor’s fatal shooting.

Pappas was a deputy constable for Harris County Precinct 2 and Precinct 7 back in the 1980s, according to KHOU 11 News.  

______

The Houston Police Department (HPD) has identified the suspect in the murder of Dr. Mark Hausknecht as Joseph James Pappas, 62. Chief Art Acevedo said Wednesday that Pappas’ mother was a patient of Hausknecht’s over 20 years ago and died during a surgery he was performing.

Acevedo detailed during a news briefing that the Harris County District Attorney’s Office has issued an arrest warrant issued for the charge of murder. “It appears that this may be a twenty year old grudge that this man held,” noted the Police chief.

Acevedo added that a “check” was conducted last night at Pappas’ residence, but he is still at large.

The Police chief also said the investigators have “plenty of evidence” that ties Pappas to the crime. “We believe that this absolutely is the killer,” Acevedo underscored, while adding that the crime took a “lot of planning” and even some skill because of the way in which Pappas shot Hausknecht.

Pappas is considered “armed and dangerous,” but the Police chief also commented the suspect sent a text to “someone that said he was going to kill himself.”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner released a statement emphasizing that “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,” and urged the public to provide any information they may have on the suspect by calling HPD’s Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

 

Share

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

General Assignment Reporter

Alvaro 'Al' Ortiz is originally from Spain. He worked for several years in his home country and gained experience in all platforms of journalism, from wire services to print, as well as broadcast news and digital reporting. In 2001, Al came to the United States to pursue a Master's degree...

More Information