Suspect in murder of FDNY EMS Capt. Alison Russo-Elling arraigned

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Thursday, October 6, 2022
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The suspect accused of murdering FDNY EMS Captain Alison Russo-Elling last week in Queens was arraigned Thursday. Kemberly Richardson has the story.

KEW GARDENS, Queens (WABC) -- The suspect accused of murdering FDNY EMS Captain Alison Russo-Elling last week in Queens was arraigned Thursday from his hospital bed.

Peter Zisopoulos pleaded not guilty and will undergo an evaluation, on the request of his attorney, to determine if he is fit to stand trial.

"My client has a past psychiatric history going back to 2018," said Zisopoulos's attorney. "He's been at Bellevue for about seven days at this point. We believe he doesn't understand the charges against him, and we are asking for an exam."

The judge approved the evaluation request and set his next court appearance for November 29.

Prosecutors said he made statements, both in the 114th precinct, and on body camera at 3 p.m., just following Russo-Elling's murder.

Zisopoulos, 34, appeared via video link from Bellevue Hospital, holding a phone as he listened to court.

The arraignment came just one day after Russo-Elling, a veteran FDNY EMS officer, was laid to rest on Long Island.

More than a thousand first responders paid their respects at her funeral in Nassau County Wednesday, during which she was posthumously promoted from lieutenant to captain.

An FDNY ambulance carried her flag-draped coffin in a procession led by the Huntington Community First Aid Squad, where she volunteered for 30 years.

Her work family and her real family spoke out.

"That man murdered my daughter, and she would be the first one to come to his aid if he ever needed help," said Russo-Elling's father, Frank Fuoco. "He left her there like a rag doll that was just discarded."

"No parent should have to ever bury their child," said Craig Fuoco, her brother.

"My dear friend, partner, may you rest in eternal peace, until we meet again," said Lt. Nancy Leger, her Station 49 coworker.

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