A Pittsburgh medical researcher killed in an apparent murder-suicide was close to “making very significant findings” in the field of COVID-19, his department said.
Dr Bing Liu, 37, was shot multiple times in the head, neck and torso at his home, and a suspect, Hao Gu, 46, was later found dead inside a car less than a mile away.
Detectives are still investigating a potential motive for the killing and the relationship between Dr Liu and Gu.
Dr Liu, a research assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the US, had recently started working on a Covid-19 project.
In a statement, the university said: “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.
“We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence.”
Dr Liu, a graduate of the National University of Singapore whose family lives in China, was alone when he was killed at his home in Ross Township, north of Pittsburgh, on Saturday.
Detectives believe Gu, from Pittsburgh, shot Dr Liu and then returned to his car, parked about 100 yards away, and shot himself in the head.