9/11 First Responder, Months From Her Retirement, Is Murdered in Broad Daylight on New York Street


FDNY EMS Lt. Alison Russo was a September 11, 2001 first responder who devoted her life to serving the people of New York.  Yesterday, while on duty, Russo  was the victim of a random stabbing in Queens in broad daylight.  She was taken Mt. Sinai  hospital where she was pronounced dead due to her injuries.

Mayor Eric Adams announced that the assailant, Peter Zisopoulos, 34, has been apprehended and is being charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

ABC News reports:

A longtime emergency medical worker with New York City’s fire department who was a first responder on Sept. 11 was killed in an apparently random stabbing in broad daylight, police said Thursday. 

The stabbing happened at approximately 2:15 p.m. in Queens, about a half-block from the station where FDNY EMS Lt. Alison Russo-Elling was assigned, according to police.

The 61-year-old Russo-Elling was wearing clothes that would have identified her as EMS personnel, officials said, and was heading to a corner store to get something to eat when a 34-year-old man stabbed her multiple times. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Police didn’t speculate on a motive for the attack and didn’t immediately identify the suspect.

Acting Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh spoke about the tragedy at a news conference.

“As the Mayor said, at 2:20 pm today, Lt. Alison Russo was on duty at station 49. While outside her station, she was stabbed multiple times in a barbaric and completely unprovoked attack.

Members of EMS serve only to help and save other people’s lives. To be attacked and killed in the course of helping others is both heartbreaking and enraging for our department in ways I cannot describe.

Lt. Russo exemplified FDNY EMS. She served the city for 25 years. She was a World Trade Center first responder. She was cited multiple times for her bravery and her life-saving work. And she was absolutely beloved on this job.

She is the 1158th of the FDNY to die in the line of duty, and the second member of EMS to die in the line of duty in the last five years.

Our hearts break for the entire department and her family.”

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell shared,

“Today our city is grieving. The New York City Police Department stands united with the FDNY and the entire city of New York as we mourn the tragic loss of a dedicated public servant. This deadly, senseless, broad-daylight attack on a uniformed EMT member is a direct assault on our society. It is the latest consequence of the violence that we relentlessly fight in our city.”

“We do know this. We can never tolerate this violence in our city. It has to, and will, be stopped. And we will never forget the brave women and men who put their lives on the line to keep the rest of us safe.”


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