A longtime New York Fire Department paramedic was stabbed to death in Queens, a New York City borough, on Thursday in an apparently random attack, according to the New York Post.
Acting Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said during a press conference that Emergency Medical Services Lt. Alison Russo-Elling, 61, died while on duty in a "barbaric and completely unprovoked attack." Peter Zisopoulos, 34, was arrested and taken into custody by police following the incident. He was later charged with second-degree murder and weapons possession.
"Members of EMS serve only to help and save other people's lives," Kavanaugh said, according to The Hill. "To be attacked and killed in the course of helping others is both heartbreaking and enraging for our department in ways I cannot describe."
Mayor Eric Adams said during the briefing: "Our hearts go out to the family, colleagues and the City of New York. We lost one of our heroes."
Danielle Fuoco, Russo-Elling's daughter, told the newspaper: "I would just say that I want everyone to respect the family, our wishes, keep her in your prayers and remember her for the hero that she was."
FDNY Lt. Maddy Higuleros described Russo-Elling as "the mother of the station," saying, "She made sure everybody was doing what they were supposed to do. And if they didn't know, they were free to come to her and ask her any questions. She was full of liveliness."
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