Suspect arrested in on-duty killing of FDNY EMS provider

Lt. Alison Russo-Elling served New York for 25 years and responded to the 9/11 attack at the World Trade Center

Duty Death: Alison Russo-Elling - [New York, New York]

End of Service: 09/30/2022

The unprovoked killing of Lt. Alison Russo-Elling is a tragic reminder that EMS providers are putting their lives at risk for choosing to serve their community.

Read more in this response from Lexipol Editorial Director Greg Friese, MS, NRP.

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — 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.

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 and 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."


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