NEW YORK (TCD) -- A 25-year veteran of the Fire Department of New York was fatally stabbed while on duty Thursday, Sept. 29.
On Thursday evening, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell, FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, and NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig spoke at Mt. Sinai Hospital Queens and announced the death of Emergency Medical Service Lt. Alison Russo-Elling.
According to Kavanagh, Sept. 29 at approximately 2:20 p.m., Russo-Elling was on duty at Station 49 when an assailant allegedly went up to her and stabbed her several times in a "barbaric and completely unprovoked attack."
Kavanagh said Russo-Elling served the FDNY EMS for over 24 years and was a first responder at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Russo-Elling was honored for her bravery throughout her tenure in the department and was "absolutely beloved."
Essig said during his part of the press briefing that the attack occurred on the corner of 20th Avenue and 41st Street in Astoria, Queens. Russo-Elling reportedly wore clothing that "clearly indicated" she worked as an EMT, and the 34-year-old male suspect allegedly ran up to her and "viciously attacked her" with a knife.
FDNY members salute #FDNY Emergency Medical Service Lieutenant Alison Russo-Elling during her dignified transfer. She is the 1,158th member of the Department to make the Supreme Sacrifice while serving our city. Read more: https://t.co/f4BAN8B92wpic.twitter.com/esfBnn2yB5
Two people reportedly witnessed the incident, one of whom ran after him. The suspect reportedly fled into an apartment building on the third floor and barricaded himself. Essig said members of the hostage negotiation team eventually talked the suspect out of his apartment and arrested him.