Local News

Memorial service held for slain UNC professor

Posted August 2, 2014 6:45 p.m. EDT
Updated August 2, 2014 10:06 p.m. EDT

— Family, friends and former colleagues gathered at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Saturday evening for a memorial service in memory of Feng Liu, a 59-year-old professor who died last month after being robbed and beaten to death on West University Drive. 

The vigil, held in Memorial Hall on the UNC campus, was the second ceremony this week honoring the late professor. 

Colleagues of Liu's described him as a talented and respected scientist as well as a joy to be around. 

"He had such a warm heart and touched the life of everyone," said Dr. Leaf Huang. "He was such a great man."

Liu, of Durham, a research professor in UNC's Eshelman School of Pharmacy, was assaulted and robbed at about 1 p.m. on July 23 near the intersection of West University Drive and Ransom Street, according to investigators. He died from his injuries on July 24.

Derick Davis II, 23, of Scots Pine Crossing in Durham, and Troy Arrington Jr., 27, of Johnson Street in Chapel Hill, have been charged with first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon in the case.

Authorities said "a landscape stone" was used to beat Liu about the head. Police said they have no reason to believe that Liu was targeted by his attackers.