Cardiologist who treated former President George H.W. Bush fatally shot by bicycle rider in a medical center complex

The cardiologist was riding his bicycle to work at the Texas Medical Center in Houston when he was shot by a fellow bicyclist.

                            Cardiologist who treated former President George H.W. Bush fatally shot by bicycle rider in a medical center complex
(Source:Getty Images)

In a shocking incident, one of former President George H.W. Bush's cardiologists was fatally shot by a fellow bicyclist while riding through a Houston medical complex. Law enforcement is currently trying to determine if the shooting was random or a pre-planned attack. According to Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief Troy Finner, Dr. Mark Hausknecht was riding northbound on a bicycle through the Texas Medical Center at around 9 am Friday when he was shot by a fellow rider out of the blue.

"The suspect was on a bicycle as well. Rode past the doctor, turned and fired two shots. The doctor immediately went down," Finner said. The 65-year-old veteran surgeon was hit at least once and subsequently rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

At the time of the shooting, Hausknecht was on his way to work at the Houston Methodist Hospital, according to the email sent by the hospital's CEO to his staff. The shooting took place somewhere within a 1,345-acre complex of hospitals and medical institutions which is busy with pedestrians as well as traffic during the day. The complex also includes the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The suspect was allegedly wearing a gray warmup jacket, khaki shorts, and a tan baseball cap. As of late Friday, authorities continued to search for possible leads. According to Finner, the suspect biked past the doctor, then turned around and fired two shots at him near the Texas Medical Center in Houston. “We are actively looking for a suspect,” he said. “A good thing about the medical center is that there are a lot of cameras. We’re hoping that we can get some footage of this and bring this violent criminal into custody.”

“In any big city, crime can happen at any time. The most important thing is we have to watch out for one another. If you see something, say something,” Finner added. According to CBS News, Hausknecht was able to flag down a passing ambulance. In a conversation with ABC 13, an EMT who rendered medical assistance to the doctor said he knew something was "wrong."

“We stopped, rendered aid to the best of our ability,” the EMT said, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We’re limited when we have a patient loaded, we can’t act as a normal ambulance at that point in time. We pretty much just give first aid.”

Back in February 2000, Hausknecht treated the erstwhile president in Florida for an irregular heartbeat after he complained about light-headedness during his visit. After Bush's treatment, the cardiologist also appeared with him at a news conference.

The former president offered his condolences to Hausknecht's family on Friday. "Mark was a fantastic cardiologist and a good man," Bush said in a statement. "I will always be grateful for his exceptional, compassionate care."

Marc Boom, the president and CEO of Houston Methodist Hospital, said that Hausknecht specialized in cardiovascular disease and had been in medical practice for almost 40 years. The venerable doctor was a part of the hospital's medical staff as well as a part of DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center.

Here is the complete statement released by Houston Methodist Hospital: "I'm very sorry to inform you that Dr. Mark Hausknecht, a cardiologist who was an important member of the Houston Methodist staff and the DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, was tragically shot and killed this morning while riding his bicycle to work. Mark was a leader in the Houston Cardiovascular Associates and specialized in cardiovascular disease. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his residency and fellowship at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is a longtime Houston Methodist-affiliated physician and has been in practice for almost four decades.

"His patients appreciated his kind bedside manner and the extra time he took to answer their questions and fully explain their condition and treatment. We will all miss seeing Mark in the hallways and seeing patients in the cath lab and CCU, where he was known as a compassionate physician with a phenomenal bedside manner. Our employees who worked with him said patients were so proud to call him their doctor.

Not only was he revered by his patients but Mark was highly regarded among his peers and colleagues. He was recently recognized as a Super Doctor, a listing of outstanding doctors who have attained a high degree of peer recognition or professional achievement.

We wish Mark's family and friends peace and prayers as they cope with their loss."

Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.