Slain New York City medic Lt. Alison Russo-Elling was stabbed more than a dozen times in random attack: Officials

Lt. Russo-Elling had 24 years of service in the FDNY.

September 30, 2022, 5:41 PM

The veteran emergency medical worker who was killed in Queens, New York was stabbed approximately 19 times in the chest in an apparently random attack, officials said.

The news came as Lt. Alison Russo-Elling's colleagues grieved for her.

Russo "was the mother hen of the station," colleagues said after bunting was raised outside EMS Station 49 in Astoria, Queens. "She was always looking out for everybody. She was always there."

"In one moment, just a short time away from her planned retirement, in one moment a lifetime of work came crashing to an end," Chief of EMS Lillian Bonsignore said.

"Tragically, she did not have the ability to retire," added FDNY Deputy Chief Greg Brady. "Twenty-four years. Did not have the ability to retire."

Several co-workers noted the similarities to the 2017 death of EMT Yadira Arroyo, in the Bronx.

"Lt. Russo is the second EMS woman, second mother, second EMS member to be murdered on these streets in the last five years," Bonsignore said.

The NYPD has recovered multiple surveillance videos showing the horrific attack.

They show Russo walking past 34-year-old Peter Zisopoulos, who was standing in the doorway of a building. He allegedly suddenly pulls a steak knife and “runs full speed” behind her, knocking her on her back and attacking her.

According to the footage, he chased away an eyewitness who attempted to intervene, the knife still in his hand, before retreating to his apartment, where he barricaded himself before being taken into custody.

Russo was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Zisopoulos was charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon and has not yet been arraigned. He has no prior arrests and no connection to the victim.

To honor the slain paramedic, flags at state buildings will be flown at half-staff today.

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