FDNY Lt. Alison Russo-Elling, 61, was stabbed on Thursday afternoon in an unprovoked attack by alleged suspect Peter Zisopoulos.
This afternoon, NYC lost one of its heroes. Lieutenant Alison Russo-Elling, a 25-year veteran of the @FDNY, was stabbed and killed while working at EMS Station 49 in Queens. We stand with our FDNY family & all New Yorkers as we mourn this terrible loss. pic.twitter.com/nlXd9hKoz0
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) September 30, 2022
Russo-Elling was a 25-year veteran of the FDNY, who was set to retire in less than a year. During her devoted career of service, she was a first responder on Sept. 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center.
In a shocking series of events, surveillance footage shows that Russo-Elling was about a block away from her station picking up food around 2:20 p.m. EST when the suspect ran up to her, knocked her down, and stabbed her more than 20 times.
Russo-Elling was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition, but it was too late. She leaves behind an adult daughter and grandchildren.
After her death, the FDNY issued statements expressing their condolences to the Russo-Elling family, as well as outrage at the state of violence.
“Today 25 year veteran EMS Lt. Alison Russo-Elling was Murdered in the Line of Duty while attending to a patient,” the FDNY association tweeted. “The UFA and all members of the FDNY are Enraged at the senseless killing and ever increasing violence in our city.”
“It has to stop,” they added.
Today 25 year veteran EMS Lt. Alison Russo-Elling was Murdered in the Line of Duty while attending to a patient.
The UFA and all members of the FDNY are Enraged at the senseless killing and ever increasing violence in our city.
It has to stop. pic.twitter.com/ngMxdUmOct
— FDNY UFA (@UFANYC) September 30, 2022
Capt. Mike Daddona of EMS Station 58 in Canarsie, Brooklyn came up in the FDNY alongside Russo-Elling.
“I call it growing up on the job — you come in as babies and you develop up,” he said, relating how wonderful the victim was to be around.
“Great sense of humor,” Daddona said. “No matter what was going on, she had a smile.”
A neighbor of the suspect, Camilla Groth, said he became her neighbor about two years ago, but she never saw him with another person.
“Loner … Something off but completely non-violent,” Groth described. “I’ve passed him on these side streets like here or over there.”
“I typically go to the other side of the street,” she continued. “I didn’t want to meet him or say hi or anything.”
Station 49, where Russo-Elling worked, lowered their flag to half-staff on Thursday. Mayor Eric Adams called her “one of our heroes.”