Slain NYC emergency worker remembered as dedicated, selfless

October 5, 2022 GMT
Lt. Alison Russo-Elling's casket is brought into the Tilles Center on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Brookville, N.Y. Russo-Elling, a veteran New York City emergency services worker who was killed in an unprovoked stabbing near her station in Queens, was remembered by her family members and colleagues as selfless and dedicated to helping other people. (Howard Schnapp/Newsday via AP)
Lt. Alison Russo-Elling's casket is brought into the Tilles Center on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Brookville, N.Y. Russo-Elling, a veteran New York City emergency services worker who was killed in an unprovoked stabbing near her station in Queens, was remembered by her family members and colleagues as selfless and dedicated to helping other people. (Howard Schnapp/Newsday via AP)
Lt. Alison Russo-Elling's casket is brought into the Tilles Center on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Brookville, N.Y. Russo-Elling, a veteran New York City emergency services worker who was killed in an unprovoked stabbing near her station in Queens, was remembered by her family members and colleagues as selfless and dedicated to helping other people. (Howard Schnapp/Newsday via AP)
Lt. Alison Russo-Elling's casket is brought into the Tilles Center on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Brookville, N.Y. Russo-Elling, a veteran New York City emergency services worker who was killed in an unprovoked stabbing near her station in Queens, was remembered by her family members and colleagues as selfless and dedicated to helping other people. (Howard Schnapp/Newsday via AP)
Lt. Alison Russo-Elling's casket is brought into the Tilles Center on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Brookville, N.Y. Russo-Elling, a veteran New York City emergency services worker who was killed in an unprovoked stabbing near her station in Queens, was remembered by her family members and colleagues as selfless and dedicated to helping other people. (Howard Schnapp/Newsday via AP)

BROOKVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — A veteran New York City emergency services worker who was killed in an unprovoked stabbing was remembered by family members and colleagues Wednesday as being dedicated to helping other people.

Lt. Alison Russo-Elling, 61, was on duty last week when she was stabbed multiple times near her station in Queens. She was heading to a corner store to get something to eat. A 34-year-old man has been charged in her murder.

She was eulogized at her funeral as someone who responded to thousands of emergency calls in 25 years with the fire department, and as one of the first responders to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

“She was a hero then, she’s a hero now,” said Mayor Eric Adams.

The mayor told mourners at the funeral on Long Island that she was being posthumously promoted to captain.

Russo-Elling’s father, his voice heavy with emotion, described the horror of stumbling upon a security video of the attack online. He said he “couldn’t hear her cry out, ‘Mom, Dad! Help!’”

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“That man murdered my daughter, and she would be the first one to come to his aid if he ever needed help,” said Frank Fuoco. “He left her lying there on the street like a rag doll that was just discarded.”

Authorities have not provided a motive for the attack.

A mother and grandmother, Russo-Elling was about a half-dozen months away from retirement. She joined the fire department as an EMT in March 1998 and was promoted to paramedic in 2002 before becoming a lieutenant in 2016.