Pa. researcher on verge of 'significant' coronavirus findings killed in apparent murder-suicide, officials say

PITTSBURGH -- A University of Pittsburgh medical researcher described as being "on the verge of making very significant findings" about the novel coronavirus was shot and killed in an apparent murder-suicide, according to the university and police.

Police said Bing Liu was found dead in his Ross Township home with gunshot wounds to the head, neck, body and extremities. Another man, Hao Gu, was found dead nearby in his car from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Detective Sgt. Brian Kohlhepp of the Ross Township Police Department described the killing as the result of a "lengthy dispute regarding an intimate partner." He said investigators had "zero evidence" that the deaths were related to "work being conducted at the University of Pittsburgh and the current health crisis affecting the United States and 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," the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine said in a statement. "We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence."

Police said neither victim was a United States citizen, and the case was referred to federal authorities.
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