The maniac who allegedly stabbed veteran FDNY T Lt. Alison Russo-Elling to death in an unprovoked Queens attack has been charged with murder, cops said Friday.
Peter Zisopoulous, 34, also faces a weapon possession charge in connection to the senseless attack on the 61-year-old paramedic, who was stabbed more than 20 times at 20th Avenue and 41st Street in Astoria around 2:20 p.m. Thursday, police said.
Zisopoulous followed Russo-Elling before slamming her to the ground, mounting her and relentlessly stabbing her, according to police sources and sickening video of the deadly attack.
A witness confronted the madman, but he snarled, “F–k you, f–k you!” before stepping away from his victim and charging at the scooter-riding pedestrian while still holding the knife, police sources said.
The victim — whose injuries included a deep, lethal wound to the chest — was left unresponsive on the ground after her callous attacker ran off, according to sources and the video.
He was busted after he was chased by a good Samaritan and barricaded himself inside his nearby apartment, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said Thursday.
Police were able to talk him down and take him into custody on the third floor of the apartment.
Russo-Elling had gone to grab food when Zisopoulous allegedly stabbed her in what authorities said was a random and completely unprovoked attack.
“At this point in the investigation there doesn’t appear to have been any prior contact between them,” an FDNY source said. “He just walked toward her, sped up and then stabbed her to death.”
Russo-Elling — a 25-year veteran who was a World Trade Center responder on Sept. 11, 2001 — was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition but could not be saved, police said.
She “was about six or seven months away from retirement,” Vincent Variale, president of Local 3621, told reporters outside the hospital where Russo-Elling succumbed to her injuries. “She was talking about it.”
FDNY Acting Commissioner Laura Kavanagh called Russo-Elling’s death “heartbreaking,” adding she was stabbed in a “barbaric and completely unprovoked attack.”
“We lost one of our heroes,” Mayor Eric Adams said during a press briefing.
Russo-Elling 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 a paramedic in 2002 before becoming a lieutenant in 2016.
Paramedics have a higher level of education than EMTs and are able to perform more complex procedures, including administering medication to patients and inserting IV lines.
Russo-Elling worked out of numerous EMS stations through her career, including Station 20, Station 17, Station 16, Station 45, Queens Tactical Response Group and Station 49.
–Additional reporting by Tina Moore
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