A 61-year-old emergency technician was stabbed to death on a Queens street Thursday afternoon as she walked from her station to a nearby deli for food.
Police said Lt. Alison Russo-Elling, a World Trade Center responder on September 11, 2001, was stabbed multiple times at 20th Avenue and 41st Street just before 2:30 p.m., the New York Daily News reported.
Initial reports indicated she was tending to a patient, as CrimeOnline previously reported, but that turned out to be not the case.
Officials said the attack was “unprovoked.”
“At this point in the investigation there doesn’t appear to have been any prior contact between them,” a Fire Department source said, according to the New York Post. “He just walked toward her, sped up and then stabbed her to death.”
Russo-Elling, a 25-year-veteran, was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital but was pronounced dead about 40 minutes later.
The suspect, whose identity has not be released but is 34-year-old, was arrested after a Good Samaritan chased him to his nearby apartment, where he barricaded himself inside, New York Police Chief of Detectives James Essig said.
Essig said officers talked him out of his third floor apartment and took him into custody.
Neighbors said the suspect’s behavior was surprising, although some called him a “loner” and “weird.” “Something off but completely non-violent,” Camila Groth told the Post.
Russo-Elling’s coworkers were stunned at her death, and the flag at her station was lowered to half-mast.
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[Featured image: Allison Russo-Elling/Facebook]