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Sunday, May 10, 2020

The Dr. Bing Liu Murder-Suicide Case

     In May 2020, 37-year-old Dr. Bing Liu resided with his wife in a townhouse on the 200 block of Elm Court in Ross Township, Pennsylvania, a suburban community just north of Pittsburgh. A University of Pittsburgh research assistant professor in the Computational and Systems Biology Department, Dr. Bing worked under Ivet Bahar, founder of the University Bahar Laboratory. The computer scientist, using computational models to study the biological process of the coronavirus, was on the verge of making significant findings regarding the cellular mechanisms of the virus.

     A native of China, Dr. Bing earned his Ph.D. in computer science at the National University of Singapore. He had been a postdoctoral fellow at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University before joining the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh.

     Dr. Bing, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had been working at home. Sometime during the morning of Saturday, May 2, 2020, Dr. Bing's acquaintance, 46-year-old Hau Gu, a software architect who lived in the suburban Pittsburgh metropolitan community of Franklin Park, entered Dr. Bing's townhouse through an unlocked door. Once inside the dwelling, Hau Gu shot Dr. Bing in the torso, neck and head. After killing Dr. Bing, Hau Gu walked to his car parked nearby. Once inside the vehicle, instead of driving away, Hau Gu committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

     Dr. Bing's wife, upon her return to the townhouse at noon that day, discovered her husband's body. An hour later, Hau Gu's body was found in his car.

     Hau Gu had earned a bachelor and a master's degree in computer science from Tongji University in Shanghai, China. In the late 1990's, after arriving in the United States, Hau Gu earned a master's degree in software engineering at East Tennessee State University.

     A naturalized U.S. citizen, Hau Gu had worked since 2004 at the Eason Corporation, a company based in Ireland with an office in Pittsburgh.

     On May 5, 2020, Ross Township detective Brian Kohlhepp informed reporters that Dr. Bing's murder had nothing to do with his coronavirus research. As for motive, the detective, being intentionally vague, said the murder involved a "lengthy dispute regarding an intimate partner."

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