Former president George HW Bush’s cardiologist killed in bicycle drive-by shooting

Mythili Sampathkumar

George HW Bush’s former cardiologist has been killed in a bicycle drive-by shooting in Houston, Texas.

Dr Mark Hausknecht was riding his bicycle near the Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women hospital just before 9am, when he was shot twice by another man on a bicycle, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said at a news conference.

Mr Hausknecht, 65, encountered the shooter as the pair rode in opposite directions down the same street. The cyclist turned, shot two times at the doctor, and continued to ride away in that direction. Police are searching for the suspect.

Officers are reviewing surveillance footage of the incident and said in a statement they would release the video soon.

According to eyewitness accounts, the suspect is male, thought to be white or Hispanic, approximately 30 years old, and 5’10’’ in height.

“He had a tan baseball cap, sunglasses, and was clean shaven. He was wearing a grey warm-up jacket and khaki shorts,” the police said in the statement.

In this 25 February 2000 file photo, former President George HW Bush waves as he leaves Methodist Hospital with his cardiologist, Mark Hausknecht, who was killed in a bicycle drive-by shooting on 20 July 2018: AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File

After being able to flag a passing ambulance, the doctor was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Mr Bush, who served as president from 1989 to 1993, said in a statement he was “deeply saddened” by his former physician’s sudden death.

The former president sent “his most sincere condolences to the Hausknecht family, his colleagues at Houston Methodist, and his friends."

He added he "will always be grateful for his exceptional, compassionate care".

“Mark was a fantastic cardiologist and a good man,” Mr Bush said.

Mr Finner said it is unclear at this time whether the shooting was targeted or random.

Houston Methodist Hospital said in a statement: “Dr. Mark Hausknecht, a cardiologist who was an important member of the Houston Methodist staff and the DeBakey Heart & Vascular Centre, was tragically shot and killed this morning while riding his bicycle to work. Mark was a leader in the Houston Cardiovascular Associates and specialised in cardiovascular disease. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his residency and fellowship at The John Hopkins Hospital. He is a longtime Houston Methodist-affiliated physician and has been in practice for almost four decades."