PITTSBURGH, Pa. — The biology department at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is in mourning after the shooting death of a scientist who it says was studying the biological makeup of the coronavirus and was on the “verge of making very significant findings toward understanding” the disease.
Bing Liu, 37, a research assistant professor, was shot dead Saturday in his suburban Pittsburgh home. He allegedly knew his killer, a man who walked to his car after the shooting and killed himself, according to reports.
Liu’s research centers on computational systems biology, and apparently his coronavirus research was leading to breakthroughs.
“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,” the biology department said in a statement. “We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence.”
Liu suffered gunshot wounds to his head, neck, and torso in the incident that happened around noon, according to reports.
Liu was from China and lived with his wife, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported. They had no children.
A motive for the shooting has not been disclosed.
Ivet Bahar, the head of Liu’s department told the paper Liu was a very talented, extremely intelligent, and hard-working individual.
“He has been contributing to several scientific projects, publishing in high-profile journals,” Bahar said. “He was someone whom we all liked very much, a very gentle, very helpful, kind person, very generous.”
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Liu was shot by appears to be a romantic partner unidentified sources mentioned. The second man later identified as Chinese national Hao Gau, was found dead in his car after killing Liu in his home before he allegedly committed suicide in his car one mile from the murder scene.Gau was also a scientific student. The police sid Liu had the front and back dorrs to his condo open because of the good weather on that day.
|Bing Liu, a coronavirus researcher, was killed in a murder-suicide, authorities say. (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine)|