Joseph Pappas stalked Dr. Mark Hausknecht at least 5 times before killing him, sources tell ABC13

Friday, August 3, 2018
Dr. Mark Hausknecht's murderer shoots himself in the head
Dr. Mark Hausknecht's murderer shoots himself in the head

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The wife of Dr. Mark Hausknecht is speaking just hours after the suspect in his murder died of an apparent suicide.

Dr. Georgia R. Hsieh released a statement Friday evening after a two-week search for the man who gunned down her husband as he rode his bike to work in the Texas Medical Center.

The statement reads:

I echo the sentiments of Houston Police Department Chief Acevedo this morning in thanking the numerous departments, communities, and individuals involved whose teamwork and cooperation lead to the rapid resolution of this case. Media's role in keeping the public informed is also acknowledged. The family can never adequately thank our friends and neighbors who have loved and supported us. I am most grateful, however, for the many wonderful years our family shared together.
Georgia R Hsieh, MD

The suspect in the murder of a prominent Houston doctor had stalked the victim at least five times since early last month, leading ultimately to the deadly shooting in the Texas Medical Center, sources told Eyewitness News.

The new detail comes on the heels of Joseph James Pappas' apparent suicide Friday morning in southwest Houston. He was the subject of a manhunt in the July 20 killing of Dr. Mark Hausknecht, who was shot to death while biking on his way to work.

Houston police chief on suicide of murder suspect

According to sources, surveillance cameras captured the suspect following Hausknecht's moves.

Pappas' body was found in a grassy area along Bob White Drive near S. Braeswood Boulevard.

Houston police Chief Art Acevedo said Pappas was sitting near Brays Bayou when a Houston Parks Board employee made contact with him. The worker spotted Pappas near the Seven Acres Jewish senior care center and thought he was a graffiti vandal.

When approached, Pappas put his arms out and walked away. The worker then found Pappas' wallet, confirming his identity and called 911.

Acevedo said when an officer arrived, Pappas had body armor on and a gun in his hand. He didn't comply with the officer's demands, and as a second officer arrived, Pappas killed himself with a single shot in the head.

The shooting took place in the 8800 block of Bob White Drive, in the yard of an elderly couple.

Mayor Sylvester Turner issued a statement: "The potential threat to the city from an accused murderer considered armed and dangerous is now over, closing another chapter of this horrific tragedy. And once again it involved heroic acts by frontline officers of the Houston Police Department, which has my gratitude for how it has handled this case and so many others. But they could not have succeeded in this case without information and support from members of the public. I encourage everyone who has information about pending and future cases to come forward and help our city save lives."

Acevedo added that in a search of Pappas' home this week, investigators found an extensive intelligence file on Dr. Mark Hausknecht.

Man found dead in southwest Houston

Overnight, a potential sighting near Pappas' Westbury home sparked an intense search late Thursday as police set up a perimeter in hopes of catching the suspect. After hours of searching, officers deemed the sighting a false alarm.

RAW VIDEO: Police search at murder suspect's home

Houston police give update after SWAT officers search neighborhood following reported sighting of murder suspect Joseph Pappas.

"We're always careful but especially with a suspect who has an active murder warrant and we have learned is skilled with firearms and training," said HPD Exec. Assistant Chief Matt Slinkard. "We are going to take our time and be methodical. We have some of the best-trained SWAT in the nation."

Acevedo confirmed Friday to Foti Kallergis that Pappas has not used his passport. Acevedo added that there is no indication that Pappas has left the country.

Manhunt leads to false alarm search at murder suspect's home

Pappas was a trained officer with 30 years of experience and a highly skilled shooter. Police had asked for everyone to continue to keep a look out for Pappas, but to consider him armed and dangerous.

Houston police say a neighbor called the Harris County Precinct 5 Constables' Office Thursday to report the sighting, spurring a frenzy of police activity outside the murder suspect's home on Stillbrooke.

HPD Executive Assistant Chief Matt Slinkard said deputy constables believed the suspect may have returned to his home after a light was seen shining inside the residence.

An open gate also sparked concern the suspect may have tried to gain reentry to the home one day after it was searched by police.

NEW: Murder suspect and slain doctor went to same bike shop

A SWAT team has been called to the home of Joseph James Pappas after police received some kind of tip.

Neighbors were informed by authorities of the situation before SWAT officers and K-9 units were used to systematically search for the alleged killer.

The Houston Police Department said the house was cleared just after midnight Friday, and that their search for the ex-deputy constable continues.

WATCH: Lights can be seen glowing inside Pappas' home

ABC13's Marla Carter says lights can be seen inside the home of Joseph James Pappas.

Suspect in doctor's murder worked in law enforcement for 30 years

Manhunt continues for the suspect in the murder of prominent doctor

Pappas was a skilled marksman, and investigators said he held a grudge for more than 20 years against the doctor over his mother's death. She died on Dr. Hausknecht's operating table.

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