Suspect accused of killing cardiologist had extensive background in law enforcement

Police are still searching for the man accused of murdering Houston cardiologist Dr Mark Hausknecht. Investigators said Joseph James Pappas, 65, is armed and extremely dangerous. Records show Pappas has an extensive background in law enforcement-- serving more than 30 years as a deputy constable in Harris County. 

Investigators believe Pappas shot and killed Dr. Hausknecht as he was riding his bike to work in the Medical Center on July 20. 

Police believe Pappas' motive was a more than two-decade grudge against the interventional cardiologist, after his mother died during surgery in 1997. 

Dr. Sally Miller is a family friend of the Hausknecht's. She said her husband was a colleague of Dr. Hausknecht and the suspect's motive just doesn't match up with the man they knew for years. 

"He spent time with his patients. He answered their questions. Dr. Hausknecht was somebody who listened. He talked to you. And so it's very puzzling that somebody would hold a grudge," Miller said.

Records from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement reveal Pappas had an extensive background and training in law enforcement. He served nearly 20 years with the Harris County Constable's Office in Precinct 2, and more than 10 years with Precinct 7.

Between the two agencies, Pappas served a total of 30 years and two months as both a reserve officer and a peace officer. 

Pappas also received more than 3,200 hours of course training from the University of Houston's Downtown Law Enforcement Academy. 

As police continue their search, Dr. Miller has one message for the suspect.

"If you can hear me, turn yourself in. I believe you'll feel better about yourself," Miller said. 

The medical examiner's office said Dr. Hausknecht was shot in the head, torso and in the arm/shoulder area. 

Anyone who knows anything about Joseph James Pappas II's whereabouts is urged to call Crimestoppers at 713-222-TIPS.