The daughter of Lt. Alison Russo, an FDNY paramedic, on Friday asked that her mom be remembered as “the hero that she was.” Russo was stabbed to death Thursday in what officials said was an unprovoked attack. NewsdayTV’s Cecilia Dowd reports. Credit: Newsday staff; Photo Credit: Family Photo, FDNY, Jackie Gardiner

This story was reported by John Asbury, Matthew Chayes, Anthony M. DeStefano, Cecilia Dowd, Nicole Fuller and Joan Gralla. It was written by Fuller.

The Queens man who police say fatally stabbed a uniformed FDNY paramedic from Huntington was charged with murder on Friday, as the victim's daughter asked New Yorkers to remember her mother "for the hero that she was."

Lt. Alison Russo, 61, a veteran of the FDNY, was stabbed "numerous times" in front of 40-19 20th Ave. in Astoria — around the corner from Station 49, where she worked — Thursday afternoon as she went to get lunch, according to the NYPD and charging documents.

Peter Zisopoulous in custody at the 114th Precinct in Astoria...

Peter Zisopoulous in custody at the 114th Precinct in Astoria on Friday. Credit: Marcus Santos

Peter Zisopoulos, 34, of 41st Street, was charged with second-degree murder and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon in Russo's killing. Authorities said in charging documents that the arrest was made based on video surveillance footage and the "statements and admissions" of Zisopoulos. The suspect ran away from the scene, was pursued by a witness, and later was arrested after he barricaded himself inside his Astoria apartment, the NYPD said.

Alison Russo served in the FDNY for nearly 25 years and...

Alison Russo served in the FDNY for nearly 25 years and was a World Trade Center first responder, according to officials. Credit: FDNY Credit: FDNY

Russo's daughter spoke to reporters briefly outside her mother's home Friday.

“At this time can everyone keep my mother in your thoughts. Pray for my family and remember her for the hero that she was. Because that's truly who she was and she died doing what she loved,” said Danielle Fuoco of Wading River. "She did the best she could and overcame incredible obstacles and gave me the best life that she could.”

Zisopoulos was scheduled to be arraigned Friday afternoon in Queens Criminal Court, but the proceeding was postponed after he was taken to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, officials said.

About two dozen paramedics and FDNY personnel filled the Queens courtroom ahead of the arraignment.

FDNY EMS, fire and other first responders stand at attention...

FDNY EMS, fire and other first responders stand at attention near the medical examiner’s offices in Manhattan as Lt. Alison Russo's remains are carried by ambulance to Long Island on Friday. Credit: Craig Ruttle

Patrick Creedence, an FDNY EMT from Brooklyn, said he didn't know Russo, but he sat in the courtroom in support for her family and the department.

"It is important to be here because it could've been any one of us. I don't know paramedic Russo but she wore the same uniform we all do," he said. "It shows her family she's not going to be forgotten and we're not going to let this go."

Russo died Thursday at Mount Sinai Hospital in Queens. Her death was the result of stab wounds to the chest and injuries to her heart, said Julie Bolcer, a spokeswoman for the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner. Russo's death was ruled a homicide.

Russo, a World Trade Center first responder and a longtime volunteer on the Huntington Community First Aid Squad, is the 1,158th member of the FDNY — and the second from EMS in the past five years — to die in the line of duty, officials said.

FDNY officials erected black and purple bunting, a sign of mourning, outside the EMS stationhouse Friday in honor of Russo.

"Today we're here to put a bunting on a building because there was a senseless, and heinous, and brutal murder of Lt. Alison Russo," said Chief Lillian Bonsignore of the FDNY's Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. "And this event has cut deep into our souls and has rippled to the first responder communities across the nation. We are heartbroken and we are very angry."

Bonsignore said Russo was planning her retirement.

"Alison Russo was an amazing woman; she was a mother, she was a friend, she was a daughter," Bonsignore said. "She was a civil servant who dedicated her life to caring for the people of this city. For 25 years, she did just that. In one moment, just a short time away from her planned retirement, in one moment, a lifetime of work came crashing to an end."

FDNY personnel and members of EMS Station 49 in Astoria...

FDNY personnel and members of EMS Station 49 in Astoria listen to remarks after the placing of memorial bunting Friday for Lt. Alison Russo. Credit: Craig Ruttle

Friends and neighbors visited Russo's Huntington home Friday morning and walked her dog Bailey until her daughter arrived in the afternoon to collect belongings from the home.

Russo had gathered with friends Tuesday and spoke of plans to retire in a few years, said her friend Chrissy Frintzilas, 51, of Huntington Station.

"She was saying she was looking toward retiring and there was nothing going on in her life, so she was just going into work to keep hours," Frintzilas said. "Her work was her main objective. She was always on the job and always going to work. All she wanted to do was finish her career with the FDNY.”

She said Russo was trained for tactical work and showed leadership on the job. She was also on the strategic guard for the United Nations General Assembly, Frintzilas said.

"She was a top person and woman with the FDNY who played a major role and that’s what I admired most. She pulled herself up and worked her way through the ranks," Frintzilas said. "She was the go-to girl for the FDNY, and when they needed her she went. After 9/11, she had dust on her hands and a cough after cleaning up the rubble. It was all part of the job."

A street memorial to Russo was erected on 20th Avenue in Astoria with flowers, votive candles and her EMS photograph. A woman stopped by and began stapling flowers to a utility pole.

People working in the neighborhood remembered Zisopoulos as a quiet man who didn’t seem violent but appeared uncommunicative.

Michael Sturgis, who works down the street, also said Zisopoulos never did anything violent.

“You could tell he wasn’t in a state of mind,” said Sturgis. “He didn’t say nothing.”

Sturgis called Zisopoulos a “neighborhood guy.”

“It is a shame,” Sturgis said of the killing.

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