A 25-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department who’d been on track to retire soon was fatally stabbed dozens of times during a random, unprovoked attack Thursday afternoon.
FDNY EMS worker Alison Russo-Elling, 61, was killed while “on her way to get something to eat at a nearby deli,” according to the New York Daily News.
“[S]he was randomly attacked on 20th Ave. near 41st St. in Astoria at about 2:30 p.m., authorities said. The scene was a few steps from EMS Station 49 on 42nd St,” the NYC-based outlet reported.
“It happened on the corner. He didn’t say anything to her. It was totally random. She was on her way to get food,” an EMS worker on the scene reportedly said.
The attack was captured on surveillance camera.
WARNING (*Extremely graphic content):
NYC OUT OF CONTROL❗️
— NY Actions (@NY_ACTIONS) September 30, 2022
Note that despite the tweet above, and despite false reporting from several outlets, Russo-Elling was not attacked “while giving aid to [a] patient.”
Two eyewitnesses witnessed the attack, including Janki Oomraw.
“He has a bloody knife in his hand. There was blood all over his hands. When he saw me, he tried to hide the knife in his pockets. It was a long knife. I said, ‘Yo! What the f— are you doing man?’ She was down on the floor barely breathing. She was stabbed in the chest. It was multiple times,” Oomraw recalled to the Daily News.
As the suspect fled the scene, Oomraw “tailed him to his apartment next door, on the third floor of a three-story building that also houses what is known as New York’s only swingers club,” according to the Daily News.
“When the suspect barricaded himself inside, Oomraw ran back outside, where Russo still lay on the sidewalk. He said he then ran to Russo’s EMS station to seek help, but feared he was too late,” the outlet reported.
The police arrived soon after and talked the suspect into exiting his home.
“He was in there for about an hour before they talked him out. He was a disheveled guy with glasses. Definitely emotionally disturbed. He didn’t put up a fight. They walked him right across the street and put him in a police car,” a witness, Frank Millevoi, told the Daily News.
As of Friday morning, the suspect’s name still remained under wraps for some inexplicable reason. Same for the charges filed against him.
Lt. Alison Russo-Elling was retiring in 6 months.
She served us on September 11th.
Yesterday, she was brutally stabbed over 20 times by a madman who walked up to her while she was on duty.
New Yorkers have had enough of the violence on our streets. pic.twitter.com/GUFAMiZfAB
— Michael Henry (@michaelhenry4ag) September 30, 2022
Russo-Elling’s death has provoked a fierce response, with even NYC Mayor Eric Adams chiming in.
“I served with the EMS as a police officer. I know what they do every day. Every day, they do their job in a manner in which many of us don’t realize how dangerous it is. She was working for this city. She paid the ultimate sacrifice because of that,” he said during a press conference.
Vincent Variale, the president of Uniformed EMS Officers Union Local 3621, concurred.
“This horrendous act demonstrates that EMS officers take on the same risks as other first responders and don’t receive the same recognition for their labor,” Variale said in a statement reported by Gothamist.
“EMS officers do not get breaks—they are on call to help save lives 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are the only first responders who respond alone. There is no driver, no partner, no aide, just a steadfast commitment to save the public when in need.”
— UEMSO Local 3621 (@UEMSO_FDNY) September 30, 2022
Speaking to reporters, Variale added that Russo-Elling “was about six or seven months away from retirement,” as reported by the New York Post. “Alison was the sweetest, kindest person you’ve ever met. She was also very brave.”
Indeed, the Post notes that she was among those who responded during the Sept. 11 terror attacks, which happened during her third year at the FDNY.
“She joined the FDNY as an EMT in March 1998 and was promoted to a paramedic in 2002 before becoming a lieutenant in 2016. She 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,” according to the Post.
Thank you! 🙏 pic.twitter.com/WbBePnESB8
— UEMSO Local 3621 (@UEMSO_FDNY) September 30, 2022
A former colleague, Capt. Mike Daddona, said in separate remarks to the Post that Russo-Elling’s death was “heartbreaking.”
“It’s sad. It’s a terrible loss. It’s not the way to go, not for her. She was part of 9/11,” he said, reportedly adding that she was someone who’d cared deeply about everybody.
Acting Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh has meanwhile called the attack “barbaric and completely unprovoked.”
True, though by the same token, so are many, many, many crimes that are committed these days in the liberal utopia that is New York City.
Russo-Elling’s death comes amid a crime wave that hasn’t abated an iota since Adams took office, despite his promises to fix it.
I thought Eric Adams was supposed to be an upgrade over De Blasio https://t.co/5nJjSx8vVd
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 30, 2022
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