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Bing Liu, a 37-year-old Chinese assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, was discovered dead in his house on Saturday.
Close friends said he was near to making “significant findings” on his studies of Covid-19, tracing online opinion it was an assassination.
But police say it was a murder-suicide.
The Chinese Professor was discovered with multiple gunshot wounds to the head, neck, torso and extremities at his home in the Pittsburgh suburbs, as said by the local police department.The gunman was later identified as 46-year-old software engineer Hao Gu. Authorities say he took his own life after returning to his car.
“Liu and Gu knew each other,” homicide detectives said.
The findings has determined it was a murder-suicide resulting from “a lengthy dispute regarding an intimate partner”.
They said there was “zero prove” the case was anything close to Liu’s research work and the current public health crisis.
In a statement, Liu’s colleagues eulogies him as an outstanding researcher who “was on the verge of making very significant findings” towards improving the cellular mechanisms of Covid-19 escalation.
According Liu’ online CV, he had joined with biologists and clinicians to study human immunity.
What are the conspiracy theorists saying?
“Oh my god,” a user on the Chinese social media platform Weibo wrote. “This seems like coming straight out of Mission Impossible. Perhaps he found out that the virus originated from an American lab.”
Many similar comments suggested Liu was killed because he was seemingly about to straighten out the mystery of coronavirus’ origin.
Chinese officials and state media had earlier on promoted an unfounded claim that the virus originated in the US and was brought to Wuhan by Americans.