Dr Bing Liu UPMC coronavirus researcher killed in love triangle feud murder-suicide amid on the verge of major findings.
A University of Pittsburgh Medical Center researcher on the verge of ‘very significant findings’ related to the coronavirus has been killed in an apparent murder-suicide thought to be linked to a love triangle.
Dr Bing Liu, 37, was alone at his home in the 200 block of Elm Court in Ross Township on Saturday afternoon when another man – identified as 46-year-old Hao Gu of Pittsburgh – allegedly entered the residence through an unlocked door and opened fire.
Liu was struck by bullets in the head, neck and torso, and died of his injuries, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
His wife was not home at the time of the homicide. The couple do not have children.
Police said Gu, a software engineer then returned to his car parked 100 yards away at Charlemagne Circle and turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.
According to police, Liu and Gu, knew each other prior to the murder-suicide, but they would not elaborate on the nature of their relationship, or speculate about a motive.
Follow up reports on Wednesday revealed Dr Bing Liu may have been involved in a long-term love triangle with his alleged killer, police say.
The violence is thought to have been motivated by a ‘lengthy dispute regarding an intimate partner’.
Investigators did not offer any additional details about how Liu and Gu knew each other, nor did they say who they believe the ‘intimate partner’ is, KDKA reported.
Prolific researcher on the brink of ‘interesting findings’.
Liu was a research assistant professor in UPMC’s Computational and Systems Biology Department, according to a statement released by his employer announcing his untimely death.
‘Bing was on the verge of making very significant findings toward understanding the cellular mechanisms that underlie SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19] infection and the cellular basis of the following complications,’ the statement read. ‘We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence.’
Liu, a native of China, earned his Bachelor’s degree and PhD in computer science at the National University of Singapore, and then did his postdoctoral studies at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
‘Dr. Bing Liu was an outstanding researcher, who has earned the respect and appreciation of many colleagues in the field, and made unique contributions to science,’ the statement said.
He joined UPMC six years ago and went on to co-author a book and more than 30 publications, earning a reputation as a prolific researcher and well-regarded mentor to younger colleagues the dailymail reports.
Dr Ivet Bahar, head of the Computational and Systems Biology Department said Liu had only recently begun researching COVID-19 and ‘was just starting to obtain interesting results’.
It wasn’t clear what those results may have been, whether in detecting the deadly bug’s origins or a possible cure.
Liu is survived by his wife and parents, who still live in China.