Police issue warrant in killing of former president George H.W. Bush's doctor, suspect held 20-year grudge

Joseph James Pappas (above) is suspected of allegedly murdering Dr Mark Hausknecht, a former doctor of George H.W. Bush, in Houston, Texas, USA, on July 20, 2018.
Joseph James Pappas (above) is suspected of allegedly murdering Dr Mark Hausknecht, a former doctor of George H.W. Bush, in Houston, Texas, USA, on July 20, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

HOUSTON (WASHINGTON POST) - Houston Police on Wednesday (Aug 1) issued an arrest warrant for a man suspected to be responsible for the fatal shooting of former president George H.W. Bush's personal doctor.

The shooting occurred on the morning of July 20, according to police, while Dr Mark Hausknecht biked to work.

Houston Police said they searched the home of Joseph James Pappas, the suspected gunman and are actively looking for him.

Police said the 62-year-old white male has for more than 20 years held a grudge against Dr Hausknecht after his mother died during an operation, according to the Associated Press.

"This man is dangerous, this man is capable, this man has some skills," Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said at news conference, according to The Houston Chronicle, noting he likely had multiple firearms and had not been seen for nearly two days.

The fatal shooting occurred on a hot Friday morning after the suspected gunman followed Dr Hausknecht by bike to work at Houston Methodist Hospital, The Washington Post reported.

The suspected gunman shot the cardiologist twice in his torso less than one mile (1.6km) from the hospital.

"There was a lot of planning that went into this," chief Acevedo said. "There was a lot of planning and sadly some skill."

The Associated Press reported Dr Hausknecht treated Mr Bush for heart problems in 2000.

"Mark was a fantastic cardiologist and a good man," Mr Bush said in a July statement. "I will always be grateful for his exceptional, compassionate care. His family is in our prayers."