Astoria community, colleagues ‘in shock’ after fatal stabbing of paramedic

Community members in Astoria and colleagues are struggling to come to terms with the tragic death of paramedic Lt. Alison Russo-Elling. 
Russo-Elling, 61, was just steps away from her station in Astoria when she was brutally stabbed multiple times in an unprovoked assault by 34-year-old Peter Zisopoulo on Thursday, authorities say. 
“A little bit outrageous for this neighborhood right now,” said Mike Stergacic, who works in Astoria. “I never imagined this individual that he was going to go that far with this. You would never suspect this. I came across this guy a lot of times. He would never say anything to anybody. He would just wonder around, he would go around the blocks a lot of times.” 
Russo-Elling’s colleagues remembered her as a resilient, caring person who dedicated more than 24 years of service to the fire department. She was just short of retirement.  
Russo-Elling lived on Long Island and leaves behind her daughter and parents.