Fugitive in Houston doctor's death kills self as police move in

Leroy Wright
August 5, 2018

"This is our suspect".

The man suspected of killing George H.W. Bush's cardiologist has committed suicide as police closed in on him.

The 65-year-old cardiologist at Houston's Methodist Hospital treated the former president in 2000 and was considered a preeminent doctor.

He managed to escape, but not before dropping his wallet, which allowed law enforcement to confirm his identity.

Their discussions take place around the time or shortly before police say officers made contact with Pappas - who police said shot himself to death at around 9:35 a.m.

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

Police posted images on Twitter in which Hausknecht is highlighted with a green circle and the suspect with a red circle. They set up a perimeter and called SWAT to search the home.

Investigators found an extensive intelligence file on his alleged victim at his home.

"The friend told KHOU, "[We were] hanging out together, over burgers and tacos, telling stories, and he mentioned being called the "Greek shrimp" in high school and 'karma's a real b***h, ' and one day the people who bullied him in high school would meet a day of reckoning".

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Investigators believe that Pappas killed Dr. Hausknecht because he was treating his mother 20 years ago when she died during heart surgery.

Authorities are looking into reports that Pappas may have been camping - possibly an attempt to hide out after police searched his home - because he had a backpack with him. According to documents, "a large piece of metal, positioned in a way that it appears it was meant to be used to buttress the front door against any attempt to force entry".

As the investigation unfolded, witnesses told police that Pappas had transferred the deed to his home to an acquaintance and sent messages indicating he was preparing to kill himself. Acevedo reported that Pappas had body armor on during the confrontation.

Hausknecht was struck three times in the deadly shooting, twice in the torso and once in the head, as he bicycled through southwest Houston last month. The former cop then allegedly passed the doctor on the road, turned and fired two shots.

In a statement obtained by ABC affiliate KTRK, Georgia R. Hsieh, Hausknecht's wife, described the killing as "senseless", asserting that guns do not make Americans safer.

The city had been on edge since Dr. Hausknecht's shocking murder.

The elder George Bush - 41st U.S. president, and father to the 43rd president George W Bush - had released a statement after the murder calling Hausknecht "a fantastic cardiologist and a good man".

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.

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