The Assassin

Biography excerpt – The Assassin

Gavrilo Princip - The AssassinGavrilo shoots the Archduke and his wife, in their open car, outside Schiller’s café in the centre of Sarajevo—where the driver has stopped to go into reverse.

Gavrilo Princip has heard the car approaching and sees his chance. He takes out his Browning, runs forward and fires two shots. It is a distance of a few feet, and he has a sitting target. With his first shot, he hits the Archduke. His arm is jogged, and his second shot hits the Countess Sophie.

Blood gushes from the Archduke’s mouth. His wife leans forward.

“For Heaven’s sake! What happened to you?”

She gasps, and leans forward, her head between his knees. Franz Ferdinand turns to her.

“Sophie dear! Sophie dear! Don’t die! Stay alive for the sake of our children!”

He sags forward. Count Harrach seizes him by the collar, and asks if he is suffering very badly.

‘It is nothing,’

says the Archduke several times, his voice gradually fading. They are his last words.