Albanian Actor, Wife Jump Off a New York Tower

An aspiring actor from Albania and his wife plunged to their deaths from their sixth-floor apartment in the Bronx on Saturday morning. 

The couple, identified by friends and neighbors as Florind Belliu, 35, and Ornela Shehi, 28, were found in the courtyard of 2199 Cruger Avenue at Pelham Parkway South in Morris Park about 9:15 a.m. Saturday, police sources told the New York Daily News. They were pronounced dead about 10 minutes later.

Neighbors say they heard shouting just before the couple fell and now police sources say investigators are looking into the deadly incident as the tragic result of a possible fight between the pair.

Their young sons, ages 6 and 2, were inside the apartment at the time with one neighbor recalling hearing a child cry out, ‘Mom! Mom!’ after the tragic fall.

Video reportedly shows Shehi plunging from the building’s sixth floor first and landing in the alleyway, with her husband Belliu following seconds later.

The couple’s cause of death was still pending Sunday, according to the Medical Examiner’s office, as it awaits ‘additional investigative information.’

Family members and friends mourned outside the Bronx apartment building on Saturday. The New York Daily News reported that Belliu’s devastated mother collapsed and could be seen sobbing in response to the news of her son’s death.

Police sources told the Post that Belliu had previously been reported to be ’emotionally disturbed’ and missing in April, before police located him.

Yet, sources say police had never received reports of domestic violence related to the couple, who moved into the building just four months ago. They have two sons who neighbors say were home at the time of the tragic incident.

‘I’ve seen them always buying things for the house, like every day together, with two kids together, we didn’t recognize there was something wrong,’ Shadie Perkaj, the wife of the building’s super, told the Daily News.

Neighbors told local media that the pair were a ‘quiet couple’ who ‘kept to themselves,’ but recall seeing Belliu in an angry state on Friday.

Neighbor Robert Sanchez described Belliu as someone who didn’t have a friendly demeanor.

‘When you would walk next to him he just didn’t have a friendly demeanor so I would just keep it moving,’ Sanchez said. ‘They kept to themselves and were very isolated.’

An employee at Zymi, a nearby café, agreed with the sentiment.

 

‘He was never in the right state of mind. He would come have a coffee or eat and would not interact with the fellow members of the community,’ the employee said. ‘The wife never really said anything. She was always quiet and isolated but they always seemed to have the kids (with them).’

Belliu was a graduate of the University of Arts in Tirana, Albania, and performed on TV and in the theater before moving to the US, according to EuroNews Albania.

The outlet also report he had been working on two books and a movie script. He may have also been working as a livery driver in recent months to provide for his family, sources said.

Friends and family mourned the couple’s loss on social media while questioning why he allegedly hurled himself off the building.

‘Why bro, why bro…did you choose this path? What was missing when you all had us in your arms and supported you? What made you to take a road without a beginning and an end?’ Albanian actor Andi Llabuti posted.

‘What do we say to [your] mother when she sees us on the street that we cannot protect you? Why didn’t you think a little about your family, your mother and your sisters? We all knew your abilities and the values you had, but never this wisdom! You made us so sad that there is no explanation! May Allah have mercy on you!’

Albanian comedian Cela Irgen posted a tribute on Instagram stating that Belliu broke his heart.

‘I can’t believe I’m making this status for you,’ he wrote in a Sunday post. ‘You are embedded in my mind and my heart for all those beautiful memories we have together and the passion we shared for acting. May you both rest in peace my dear friend and may God give strength to both families in these difficult times.’

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