The Allegheny County Medical Examiner reported that the researcher for University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine was found dead inside his Ross Township home, just north of Pittsburgh.
Liu suffered fatal gunshot wounds to his head and neck.
Just an hour following the discovery of Liu’s body, 46-year-old Hao Gu was found dead inside a car less than a mile away.
The two men “appeared to be connected beyond their proximity to each other,” Ross Township Police Detective Sgt. Brian Kohlhepp told the Associated Press.
However, the precise relationship between Liu and Gu remains unknown, as well as the motive behind the murders.
“Investigative leads developed throughout the weekend have led us to believe that the male from the car shot and killed the man in the townhome before returning to his car and taking his own life,” said Kohlhepp.
Liu was a well-respected research associate at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who had previously worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University. The 37-year-old earned his PhD in computational science from the National University of Singapore.
The medical researcher, whose work focused on systems biology, was described as both a ‘prolific researcher’ and ‘excellent mentor’ in a statement by the University of Pittsburgh. His contributions to coronavirus research were considered incredibly significant by his peers.
“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,” said the University. “We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence.”