Police ID suspect in Houston cardiologist's murder

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Houston police have identified the suspect in the murder of a well-known Houston cardiologist.

Chief Art Acevedo named Joseph James Pappas II as the suspect in the slaying of Dr. Mark Hausknecht.

It was just before 9 a.m. on July 20 when the cardiologist was northbound on Main past Holcombe. Two blocks later, a man believed to be Pappas, was riding a bike and shot Dr. Hausknecht.

After firing three shots, the killer continued on Main Street then rode west on Southgate.

Acevedo says they believe the motive may be that Pappas' mother died while undergoing surgery 20 years ago under the care of Hausknecht.

Pappas is still at large, and believed to be armed and dangerous. If you see him or know of his whereabouts contact police immediately.

Dr. Hausknecht's family released this statement:

The Hausknecht family is very grateful for the diligent hard work and professionalism of the Houston Police Department and all the other agencies, organizations and countless individuals who have contributed to the identification of Joseph James Pappas as the suspect in the murder of Dr. Mark Hausknecht.  The family further urges the public to focus on the photo of the suspect and other information about the suspect released by HPD Chief Acevedo yesterday. They ask for the public’s continued support of law enforcement’s efforts in finding and apprehending this dangerous and armed individual as soon as possible.  The family urges that if you know anything about the possible whereabouts of the suspect, please contact Houston Police Department as soon as possible.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner released the following statement:

The Houston Police Department's identification of a suspect in the shooting death of Dr. Mark Hausknecht is more proof of the excellent results that come from HPD's top notch investigators working with information provided by the public, from prominent cases to those that escape widespread attention. 

While each homicide is a tragedy for our community, I am thankful that last year's Houston homicide count fell to a three-year low and that Chief Acevedo and his staff are using preventive approaches designed to reduce the count even further.

Let us keep the family of Dr. Hausknecht in our prayers as they begin the long road to healing.

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. I'm asking the public to continue to partner with police. Just as a tip led to his identity, we still need anyone with information on his whereabouts to come forward.