Assistant Professor Bing Liu, the Pittsburgh researcher who was on the verge of publishing “very significant findings” regarding the Chinese coronavirus, was killed in a murder-suicide over a love triangle feud, according to police.
The 37-year-old researcher from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine was found dead by Ross Township police on Saturday with gunshot wounds to his head and neck at his Elm Court apartment. According to a police statement, 46-year-old software engineer Hao Gu entered Liu’s apartment and shot the researcher and returned to his vehicle, in which he was discovered with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot to the head.
Now, investigators believe the deadly incident was prompted by a “lengthy dispute regarding an intimate partner,” but they have stopped short of revealing who the partner is. Liu was married and lived with his wife, according to the Daily Mail.
In a statement on Liu’s death, his university department said: “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.”
Investigators say there is “zero evidence” indicating that Liu’s death was linked to his research regarding the deadly virus.
Liu, who was born in China, earned a Ph.D. in computer science from the National University of Singapore and later undertook his postdoctoral studies at Carnegie Mellon University.