Pappas, Accused in Doctor's Murder, Kills Himself

Joseph James Pappas II, the suspected killer of the Houston cardiologist who was gunned down as he rode his bicycle to work at the Texas Medical Center, killed himself Friday morning, Police Chief Art Acevedo said.

A person who lives in the neighborhood told our news partner KPRC-TV, Channel 2: "Police had indicated that the man had evidently shot himself, that the police evidently were coming up to him and asking him to put his hands up, and he put one arm up and, this is according to what this man said the police said, and evidently the man pulled out his gun and shot himself," a person who lives in the neighborhood said.

KTRK-TV reports that Pappas' body was found dead in a grassy area along Bob White Drive near South Braeswood Boulevard on Friday.

Pappas, 62, was a former peace officer.

Acevedo said the death of Dr. Mark Hausknecht was likely a long-brewing "grudge" killing -- because Pappas' mother died on the operating table in 1997 while Hausknecht performed surgery.

Hausknecht was shot and killed July 20. The noted cardiologist's patients had included former President George H.W. Bush.

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