Breaking News

Suspect in Doctor's Shooting Death Kills Himself as He's Confronted by Houston Police This Morning

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo announcing the death of Joseph Pappas.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo announcing the death of Joseph Pappas. Twitter screengrab
Joseph Pappas the 65-year-old suspect in the shooting death of Dr. Mark Hausknecht, a Houston cardiologist, shot himself and died this morning as Houston police closed in on him, Police Chief Art Acevedo said in a news conference today.

According to the chief, a city parks board employee who'd been checking for graffiti in the area near the Jewish Community Center came across a man in the area not far from Pappas's home in Westbury and approached him. As he did, Pappas walked away and the employee yelled after him "Sorry, I thought you were a graffiti vandal," Acevedo said.

The employee found a wallet belonging to Pappas that had been thrown on the ground and contacted the Houston police. 

The employee repeatedly called police with the whereabouts of Pappas ( Acevedo said they were slowed when the first address turned out to be incorrect). The first officer on the scene confronted Pappas, who was wearing a bulletproof vest under his shirt, and asked him to show him his hands.


Pappas refused to do so and when a second office arrived, Pappas shot himself, police said.

Acevedo referred to the tension there has been in the Texas Medical Center community since the fatal shooting of Hausknecht two weeks ago. The doctor was shot while riding his bicycle in the Medical Center area. The motive for the shooting is believed to be the fact that Pappas' mother died while under the cardiologist's care more than 20 years ago. 
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
Contact: Margaret Downing