Armed killer who murdered George H.W. Bush’s cardiologist as revenge for his mother’s operating table death 20 years ago commits suicide as Houston police corner him

Friday, August 3, 2018
By Paul Martin

Joseph Pappas, 62, shot himself in the head on Friday as Houston cops closed in
Alert parks department employee tipped off police after spotting Pappas
Pappas had been wanted by police for the murder of Dr Mark Hausknecht
Hausknecht was shot dead while cycling to work in Houston on July 20
Pappas wanted revenge for mom’s death on operating table in 1997, cops say

3 August 2018

The man who murdered a renowned cardiologist in a revenge attack after the death of his mother 21 years ago has killed himself as police closed in.

Joseph James Pappas, 62, shot himself in the head on Friday morning in Houston as cops surrounded him near the Brays Bayou Greenway Trail, Police Chief Art Acevedo said.

Pappas had been wanted by police over the shooting death of Dr Mark Hausknecht in Houston, Texas on July 20, in revenge for the operating-room death of Pappas’ mother in 1997.

Responding to a 911 call from a witness, police found Pappas walking near Bob White Drive and Imogene Street, about 3.5 miles from Pappas’ home, shortly after 9.30am on Friday.

Pappas was wearing body armor and refused to show his right hand when ordered to by the first officer on the scene, Acevedo said.

The officer took up a defensive position behind his radio car as a second unit arrived.

Pappas, surrounded by the multiple officers, then produced a firearm and shot himself in the head, Acevedo said.

He was pronounced dead on the scene. Acevado believes the timely arrival of a second patrol unit may have averted further loss of life.

‘You normally don’t put on a bullet proof vest when you’re thinking about suicide,’ Acevedo said.

‘I’m convinced that had we not had that second officer arrive, we might have had a shootout.’

The witness who brought the police dragnet down around Pappas was a Houston Parks Board employee who thought he resembled the suspect’s description and called 911.

The park employee continued to trail Pappas and, minutes later found a dropped wallet with Pappas’ ID in it and immediately called police again to update them on his location.

The suicide brought to a conclusion a massive manhunt for Pappas, a former police officer who was well trained in the use of firearms and said to be an excellent marksman.

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