Police said Wednesday the cardiologist who treated former President George H.W. Bush was targeted after being shot while riding his bicycle to work last week.
Houston’s police chief Art Acevedo emphasized that investigators are still not certain of the motive – but he said investigators were confident they would catch the shooter.
Dr. Mark Hausknecht, 65, was cycling from his home to the Houston Methodist Hospital on Friday morning when the gunman, also on a bike, approached the cardiologist from behind and fatally shot him twice in the torso.
The suspected gunman remains at large.
Dr Mark Hausknecht treated former president George H. W. Bush back in 2000 for an irregular heartbeat after he complained about lightheadedness while visiting Florida
Dr. Mark Hausknecht, 65, (left) was cycling from his home to the Houston Methodist Hospital in his blue medical scrubs when the gunman (right) approached from behind and shot him
In a brief interview Acevedo said there were several witnesses in the area at the time of Friday’s shooting.
Acevedo declined to say why he believed the cardiologist was likely targeted. The FBI’s Houston’s bureau is helping Acevedo’s department with the investigation.
Houston police have now released a series of surveillance images and footage in their search for the unknown assailant as they continue to pursue several leads.
The images appear to show the shooter riding behind Hausknecht, who was dressed in his blue medical scrubs, just moments before the fatal encounter.
The suspect appeared to be clean-shaven and wearing a blue polo shirt, khaki ball cap and tan shorts. He was also carrying an olive-green backpack that police have described as ‘fully loaded’.
Surveillance footage shows the suspect tailing Hausknecht for several blocks before speeding up about a half-mile from the hospital.
Footage shows the suspect (red) tailing Hausknecht (green) for several blocks before speeding up about a half-mile from the hospital. Police said the cyclist then passed the doctor before turning around and firing
The shooting happened around 9 am Friday as Dr Hausknecht was going through the Texas Medical Center, where he worked
Police said the cyclist then passed the doctor before turning around and firing at him. Hausknecht was hit at least once and taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.
They released a composite sketch over the weekend that showed a man wearing glasses and a cap.
Investigators are still trying to determine if the shooting was targeted or at random.
Police on Saturday released this sketch of the suspect in Dr Mark Hausknecht’s murder
The area where the shooting took place is part of a 1,345-acre complex of hospitals and medical institutions, including the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and is busy with traffic and pedestrians during the day.
Hausknecht had been in medical practice for almost 40 years and specialized in cardiovascular disease. He was part of the hospital’s medical staff as well as its DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center.
He treated Bush in February 2000 for an irregular heartbeat after the ex-president complained about lightheadedness while visiting Florida.
The cardiologist appeared with Bush at a news conference following his treatment.
Bush on Friday offered his condolences to Hausknecht’s family.
‘Mark was a fantastic cardiologist and a good man,’ Bush said in a statement.
‘I will always be grateful for his exceptional, compassionate care.’
Houston CrimeStoppers has offered a reward of $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and charges in the case.