(PatriotWise.com)- An EMT was stabbed to death in broad daylight in Queens.
Lt. Alison Russo-Elling, 61, a World Trade Center responder on Sept. 11, 2001, was stabbed more than 20 times at 20th Avenue and 41st Street around 2:20 p.m., the New York Post said.
The video reveals that the assailant, Peter Zisopoulos, shoved Russo-Elling to the ground before stabbing her in the chest, stomach, and neck in rapid succession. The attacker ran off after loitering about the fatally wounded EMT for 10 seconds. He then walked by again, at which point a pedestrian approached Russo-Elling, who was immobile on the pavement.
Authorities said that she was transported to a hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig noted that she was on duty and a half-block from Station 49 on the sidewalk when she was attacked.
Authorities have said the incident was “unprovoked.”
An FDNY source said at this stage in the investigation; there doesn’t appear to have been any prior interaction between them. He walked toward her, sped up, and then stabbed her to death.
The suspected assailant, Peter Zisopoulos, a 34-year-old male, was chased by a witness and ultimately barricaded himself in a nearby apartment. On the third level of the apartment building, police were able to take him into custody.
ABC 7 reporter N.J. Burkett reported the suspect’s strangeness upon arrest: “his face, utterly without expression.” He looked unconcerned, even careless.
The suspect was being held at the 114th Precinct late Thursday. Charges have not been announced.
Camilla Groth, 50, who lives on the same block as the crime scene, described the suspect as odd and a loner. “Weird but non-violent,” Groth said.
She said she passed him on side streets, here or there, but walked on the other side of the road to “avoid saying hi, or anything.”
Groth said she’s never seen him with another individual; he was always alone when she saw him.
FDNY Acting Commissioner Laura Kavanagh termed Russo’s death “heartbreaking,” adding she was stabbed in a “barbaric and unjustified act.”
The murdered EMT worked out of Station 49 in Astoria and lived on Long Island. She joined the FDNY as an EMT in March 1998 and was promoted to paramedic in 2002 before becoming a lieutenant in 2016.
Russo-Elling, a first responder at the World Trade Center on 9/11, “committed her life to save others,” her coworkers claimed.