Close to 11:00 am
Sunday 28 June 1914
The Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire was visiting Sarajevo, the capital of one of the Empire’s most restless provinces. He was accompanied by his wife Sophie – it was their 14th wedding anniversary.
By 10:30 am Franz and Sophie had already survived one assassination attempt. But at 10:45 am they decided to leave the safety of Sarajevo City Hall to visit Franz’ comrades – injured from the attack – at the Sarajevo hospital.
They were driven back along the same road along which they had already survived one assassination attempt. But their driver had not been informed of the change of plan (that Franz wanted to visit the Sarajevo hospital).
Mistakenly, he turned right onto Franz Josef street and, after being told he had made a wrong turn, he stalled the car.
11:00 am: the assassination
By pure chance Gavrilo Princip, the third conspirator to attempt the assassination, was waiting on the corner. At a metre and a half range, he fired two rounds from a Browning FN M1910 semi-automatic pistol.
One of the rounds passed through the door of the vehicle, hitting the Archduke’s wife Sophie in the abdomen, severing her stomach artery. The other had hit Franz Ferdinand in the neck, grazing his jugular vein. Both were mortal wounds and the two passengers were confirmed dead half an hour later.
The murder of Franz Ferdinand is one of the seminal moments of 20th century European history, sparking the July Crisis that led to the First World War.