Joseph James Pappas, the man accused of murdering the former doctor of George H.W. Bush, was found dead on Aug. 3 after he was confronted by Houston Police officers, said officials.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said in a press conference that Pappas, 62, shot and killed himself near his Houston home.
“This is our suspect,” Acevedo said in a live-streamed news conference. “The suspect is deceased. He committed suicide when he was confronted by two members of the Houston Police Department,” he added.
“Without the public,” he said, “we wouldn’t be standing here today.”
Pappas is suspected of murdering Dr. Mark Hausknecht, a cardiologist who had treated the former president.
At around 9:21 a.m. local time, police got a call from a person chasing a suspicious person, Acevedo said. The caller said he was near a Jewish community center, saying he believed the person was Pappas. The chief said that when police confronted Pappas, he refused to show his hands to the officer, Click2Houston reported. Pappas, who was also wearing body armor, shot himself when another officer arrived on the scene.
On July 20, Hausknecht was shot and killed while biking to the Texas Medical Center, where he worked, by another cyclist, police said. Earlier this week, police released the name of the suspect, identifying him as Pappas.
Acevedo said that it seemed as though Pappas held a grudge against Hausknecht after his mother died on the doctor’s operating table two decades ago, according to the local news outlet.
On July 30, Houston police posted a video on social media showing the suspect after the shooting.
On Aug. 3, KHOU reported that a former friend of Pappas said he had a hit list and may have been hunting his next victim.
“I personally do not think the doctor is the only person that he is going to target,” the man told the station. “I think [Dr. Mark Hausknecht] was number one on the list. And Joe is extremely intelligent. He’s patient, he’s unassuming, he’s a deadly shooter.”
He added: “[When we were] hanging out together, over burgers and tacos, telling stories, he mentioned being called the ‘Greek shrimp’ in high school and said ‘Karma’s a real [expletive],’ and one day the people who bullied him in high school would meet a day of reckoning.”
“[When Pappas] made the comment, at the time I thought it was a joke, ‘Hey, don’t worry, you’re not on my list.’ Now, looking back on it, it makes me queasy to think, ‘Oh wait, maybe this guy has a list.”‘