REVEALED: Coronavirus researcher, 37, on the verge of releasing ‘significant findings’ was shot and killed in a murder-suicide by software engineer over a ‘long-running love triangle feud’
- Dr Bing Liu, 37, was shot dead at his home in suburban Pittsburgh on Saturday
- The shooter was identified as 46-year-old software engineer Hao Gu, who was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound near Liu’s home
- Police say they believe the murder-suicide was the result of a ‘lengthy dispute regarding an intimate partner’
- Liu was married and lived with his wife at the home where the attack occurred
- It’s unclear whether Gu is married or how he and Liu knew each other
- Police say there is ‘zero evidence’ that the killing had anything to do with the COVID-19 research Liu was doing with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
- UPMC said Liu ‘was on the verge of making very significant findings toward understanding the cellular mechanisms’ of COVID-19
- Gu worked as a software programmer at Eaton Corp in Moon Township
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A married coronavirus researcher who died in an apparent-murder suicide may have been involved in a long-term love triangle with his alleged killer, police say.
Dr Bing Liu, 37, was found dead with gunshot wounds to the head, neck and torso at his home in the suburb of Ross Township on Saturday afternoon.
Ross Township police said another man, identified as 46-year-old software engineer Hao Gu, entered Liu’s home through an unlocked door and opened fire before going back to his car parked 100 yards away and turning the gun on himself.
On Wednesday investigators revealed that they believe the attack was motivated by a ‘lengthy dispute regarding an intimate partner’.
Dr Bing Liu (left) was shot dead in an apparent murder-suicide at his home in suburban Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon. The shooter was identified as 46-year-old software engineer Hao Gu (right), who was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot near Liu’s home
Gu allegedly entered Liu’s home (pictured) in Ross Township through an unlocked door
The 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.
Liu was married and lived with his wife at the home where the attack occurred, but she was not there at the time. It’s unclear whether Gu – a software programmer at Eaton Corp – is married.
Police said neither of the men were US citizens, so their findings are being forwarded to federal authorities.
They also reiterated that there is ‘zero evidence’ to suggest that the killing had anything to do with the coronavirus research Liu was doing with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Liu was ‘on the verge of making very significant findings’ in his COVID-19 research at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
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.
Dr Ivet Bahar, head of the Computational and Systems Biology Department, told the Post-Gazette that Liu had only recently begun researching COVID-19 and ‘was just starting to obtain interesting results’.
Liu is survived by his wife and parents, who still live in China.
The UPMC lab where Liu worked on COVID-19 research is pictured above
Gu was also born in China but became a naturalized US citizen after moving to America over two decades ago, police said.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Gu studied Computer Science at Tongi University in Shanghai before getting a Masters degree in Software Engineering at East Tennessee State University.
He joined Eaton Corp, a power management company based in Ireland, at its satellite office in the Pittsburgh suburb of Moon in 2004.
Gu rose through the ranks and held the role of Chief Software Architect at the time of his death.