Allison Russo-Elling Bio – Allison Russo-Elling Wiki
Allison Russo-Elling, lieutenant New York City Fire Department, was stabbed to death in broad daylight Thursday in an unprovoked attack while walking down the street in Queens, N.Y., say authorities.
Allison Russo-Elling was 61 years old.
DETAIL OF INCIDENCE:
At 2:10 p.m., FDNY EMS Lt. Allison Russo-Elling, who was on duty at Station 49 in Astoria, “went to get food nearby” when a man brandishing a knife viciously attacked the 61-year-old, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said at a press conference.
“He stabbed her numerous times about her body,” he said about Russo-Elling, one of the first responders at the World Trade Center on 9/11.
The brutal stabbing was a “barbaric and completely unprovoked attack,” FDNY Acting Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said at the press conference.
“Members of EMS serve only to help and save other people’s lives,” Kavanagh said. “To be attacked and killed in helping others is heartbreaking and enraging for our department in ways I cannot describe.”
Surveillance footage obtained by the New York Post appears to show the man jumping on top of Russo-Elling and stabbing her repeatedly with a steak knife after she fell to the ground.
Upon seeing the stabbing, a bystander who knows the suspect — identified as Peter Zisopoulous, 34, of Astoria — chased him as he ran and hid in his apartment, Essig said.
A hostage negotiating team talked him out of the apartment, Essig said. He was arrested and charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon.
It is unclear whether he has entered a plea or hired an attorney who can speak on his behalf.
Russo-Elling was rushed to Mt. Sinai Queens Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries, Essig said.
As police continue investigating, Russo-Elling’s family, friends and colleagues are mourning her loss and remembering someone who “exemplified FDNY EMS,” Kavanagh said at the press conference.
Russo-Elling served the city for 25 years, Kavanaugh noted. “She was a World Trade Center first responder,” she said. “She was cited multiple times for her bravery and her life-saving work. And she was beloved on this job.”
Mayor Eric Adams said, “Our hearts go out to the family, her colleagues and the city of New York. We lost one of our heroes.”
Russo-Elling joined the FDNY in 1998, according to a statement from Kavanaugh and Adams. She was promoted to lieutenant in 2016.
The men in her unit were like her sons, her longtime friend, Jackie Gardiner, told ABC 7 Eyewitness News.
“She loved the job,” Gardiner said. “She loved working in Astoria. She enjoyed what she did. She loved all the other guys under her. She used to call [them] her kids, and she was a happy person.”
Russo-Elling, a Long Island resident, is survived by her daughter and parents.
“We stand together with her family and colleagues in mourning during this excruciating time,” said Kavanaugh.