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Astoria Man Accused of Killing EMS Worker Indicted on Murder, Weapons Charges

Peter Zisopoulos outside the 114th Precinct in Astoria @LSchmidtFox5

Oct. 6, 2022 By Christian Murray

The man who allegedly stabbed a high-ranking EMS worker to death in Astoria last week has been indicted on murder and other charges, the Queens District Attorney announced Thursday.

Peter Zisopoulos, of 20th Avenue in Astoria, is accused of fatally stabbing Alison Russo-Elling, a 25-year veteran of the FDNY Emergency Medical Services, on Sept. 29 without provocation. He allegedly approached Russo-Elling near EMS Station 49 on 20th Avenue, knocked her to the ground, and stabbed her repeatedly before fleeing the scene. The incident was caught on tape.

“This is a tragic case and a devastating loss for the family as well as our City,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz in a statement. “FDNY EMS Captain Alison Russo-Elling spent her 25-year career helping others in their time of need. Now, her family mourns her passing because, as alleged, the defendant brutally stabbed Ms. Russo-Elling to death near her workstation in Astoria.”

The indictment comes a day after thousands of first responders attended Russo-Elling’s funeral that was held at the Tilles Center at LIU Post on Long Island. Paramedics carried her coffin, which was draped in a red and white paramedic flag, while the department’s bagpipes played.

Mayor Eric Adams was in attendance, and she was posthumously promoted to FDNY EMS captain during the ceremony.

Police and firefighters salute EMS Lt. Alison Russo-Elling at her funeral in Long Island Wednesday. Her coffin was placed inside an FDNY ambulance @NYCPDDEA

Zisopoulos, 34, was arraigned Thursday via video from Bellevue Hospital on a two-count indictment charging him with murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. He faces up to 25 years-to-life in prison, if convicted.

According to the charges, Zisopoulos approached Russo-Elling, who was in uniform and on-duty, at around 2:10 p.m. while she was walking down 20th Avenue, between 41st and Steinway Streets. He allegedly pushed her to the ground and stabbed her more than a dozen times before fleeing the scene.

The incident was captured on video surveillance and there is no indication that the two knew one another prior to the attack.

An Astoria man has been charged with murder for the brutal stabbing of Alison Russo-Elling, pictured (Photos: FDNY)

Zisopoulos then ran to his third-floor apartment nearby and barricaded himself inside. A short time later, members of the NYPD’s hostage negotiating team and emergency service unit were able to talk to him and he surrendered without further altercation.

Russo-Elling was rushed to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead as a result of the injuries sustained from the attack.

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25 Comments

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John Z

Curious if he has a previous record or if he has known mental illnesses.the city doesn’t do enough to deal with people with mental issues. They all like to say they do, but I’ve passed enough naked people in the subway to know that is a lie.

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Only of he has one before

Dumblazio and his wife got into office. Mental health services was her baby.

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Elliot

Finally saw the vid of the gruesome attack. Cant believe the people in their cars did nothing to at least try to distract or scare the attacker. He stabbed her over 20 times. They could of shouted stop ✋ or scream police 🚔.

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Garret

I know someone is going to comment that crime hasn’t been as bad as it was in the 80’s, but I still feel like it’s terrible here in NYC. In the 80’s you kind of knew where to stay away from. That is no longer the case since our officials started building affordable housing and converting hotels into homeless shelters in middle class neighborhoods. It doesn’t matter what borough, what neighborhood, you are in anymore and it seems like the criminals are running rampant in this city. I’m actually really worried for my family, myself, and everyone. I feel like NYC is a jungle. Maybe I’m watching too much of the news and reading too many articles, but that doesn’t stop the fact that it still is happening. And it could happen to literally anyone. Unprovoked at that.

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Bill

Crime is not nearly as bad as it was in the 80’s but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. The people committing crime have to take responsibility for what they’re doing.

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Rita

From what i read residents thought the suspect was weird/strange but harmless. There is nothing cops could do in a situation like that. If those suffering from mental illness do not get help there is little authorities can do unless they are in danger of hurting themselves or others.

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Nicole

Chances are that the city and state aka tax payers were paying this dirt bags rent and food. Now tax payers are going to be paying for him to live in jail. Thanks politicians for increasing rent vouchers so people who can not afford an area can move in.

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Stick to the facts

Hashtagger- Do you know the perps living arrangements? I am totally against vouchers and have been outspoken about them but have heard nothing about this perps situation that says vouchers were a factor.

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Srinivas

Wait he was not let go on bail? I thought in NYC everyone walks after the arraignment .

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Muh narrative!

But the comments here say that’s impossible! Geez these fake narratives are so confusing 🤔

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Earl

That’s not fair! He suffers from mental issues. He should be in a mental institution where he will be treated not a prison.

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Resident in Woodside

reply to Lee : lets not forget former mayor the Blassio allowed hotels in residential area to be used as shelters . Its a disgrace that they continue to do this to our area where we live . I am done with these incompetent leaders .

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Lock. Him. Up. Throw. Away. Key.

He may be mentally ill but he should never be let loose on the public again.

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Cleo

They should open a new psychiatric institution in Astoria. There are plenty of old buildings/factories on 20th and 19 Avenues they can clean up and put those insane people walking the streets in an appropriate setting. I have nothing against the insane, but, they are insane and need a place to get help and off the street.

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Claire

I don’t care if he’s nuts. He’s a danger to society and needs to be dealt with NOW.

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Sean

The video of the actual incident was painful to watch…………horrific!!! Lock him up for life…with no chance of parole.

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Devan

Well if he was from another race more would excuse this murder and blame racism and oppression.

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She said we should take the bus and leave

Hey, troll: do you think you can get over your TDS? I’m sure the advice of the commie known as Tiffany Caban (to ask perps where they went to high school) was very helpful to the victim! Oh, I forgot: she’s dead.

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Trump Derangement Syndrome is real.

What the heck has the former president of the US or his supporters got to do with this?

Get professional help.

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