A medical researcher from Pittsburgh who was “on the verge of making very significant findings” in his COVID-19 research was found dead in an apparent murder-suicide over the weekend.
Bing Liu, a 37-year-old research assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, was found dead with gunshot wounds to his head, neck, torso and extremities inside his home in Ross Township, north of Pittsburgh, according to NBC News.
One hour after the discovery of Liu’s body, authorities found another, identified as 46-year-old Hao Gu, inside his car less than a mile away.
Ross Township police Detective Sgt. Brian Kohlhepp told the network the two men knew each other and that investigators believe Gu gunned down Liu before shooting himself.
However, authorities still do not know the motive behind the killing and say there is “zero indication that there was targeting due to his (Liu) being Chinese,” Kohlhepp said via CNN.
In a statement, the university said it is “deeply saddened by the tragic death of Bing Liu, a prolific researcher and admired colleague at Pitt. The University extends our deepest sympathies to Liu’s family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.”
In addition, a colleague of Liu’s at the university’s Department of Computational and Systems Biology said the assistant professor was on the verge of a breakthrough in his study of the virus which is currently infecting millions of people around the world.
“Bing was on the verge of making very significant findings toward understanding the cellular mechanisms that underlie SARS-CoV-2 infection and the cellular basis of the following complications,” Liu’s colleague said.
“We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence.”
Feature Image via Pittsburgh University