A medical researcher who was on the verge of making very important discoveries about the coronaviruses was found shot dead over the weekend in Pennsylvania, officials said.
Bing Liu, 37, a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, was found dead on Saturday in a house in Ross County, north of Pittsburgh, said the Allegheny County medical examiner.
Let our news respond to your inbox. The news and stories that matter, delivered in the morning on weekdays.
He was shot in the head and neck, the agency said.
An hour after Liu’s body was discovered, a second person, Hao Gu, 46, was found dead in a car less than a kilometer away, the agency said.
Ross Township Police Detective Sergeant. Brian Kohlhepp told NBC News that the men knew each other. Investigators believe Gu killed Liu before returning to his car, where he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Kohlhepp said authorities are still investigating their relationship and the possible motives for the murder.
Liu, who received a doctorate in computer science from the National University of Singapore, worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University before becoming a research associate in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.
In a press release, the University of Pittsburgh described him as an excellent mentor and prolific researcher who has co-authored more than 30 articles. His work has focused on systems biology.
“Bing was on the verge of making very important discoveries to understand the cellular mechanisms underlying SARS-CoV-2 infection and the cellular basis of the following complications,” said the school. “We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay tribute to his scientific excellence. “