EMS worker fatally stabbed in NYC was months from retirement

Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 6:47 AM MDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2022 at 9:36 AM MDT
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NEW YORK (AP) — A man has been arrested in the fatal stabbing of a veteran emergency medical worker with New York City’s fire department, police said Friday.

Peter Zisopoulos, 34, was charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon in the fatal attack on EMS Lt. Alison Russo-Elling, police said in a news release.

Russo-Elling was on duty when she was stabbed Thursday afternoon near her station in the Astoria section of Queens, authorities said.

Lt. Alison Russo-Elling is pictured in this undated photo from the New York City Fire...
Lt. Alison Russo-Elling is pictured in this undated photo from the New York City Fire Department. Russo-Elling was killed in an unprovoked stabbing.(FDNY via Twitter)

The 61-year-old Russo-Elling was heading to a corner store to get something to eat when Zisopoulos allegedly stabbed her multiple times, police said. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Zisopoulos ran to his apartment nearby barricaded himself inside, police said. He was arrested after he was eventually talked into coming out. It wasn’t clear if he had an attorney who could comment on the charges against him.

The motive for the stabbing is under investigation.

Russo-Elling had served the city for 25 years and was among the first responders at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Acting Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said at a news conference Thursday.

“She was cited multiple times for her bravery and her life-saving work,” Kavanagh said. “And she was absolutely beloved on this job.”

Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement, “Our hearts are with her family, her fellow EMS members, and with all New Yorkers who lost a truly amazing woman to a senseless act of violence. The City of New York will remember Lt. Russo-Elling’s bravery and commitment to service as we mourn her loss along with the FDNY.”