On 2 June 1967 Ohnesorg participated in a student protest held near the Deutsche Oper, in opposition to the state visit of the Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, who was attending a performance of Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’ at the Deutsche Oper that night. It was the first political demonstration in which Ohnesorg had ever taken part.
The protest turned violent after pro-Shah demonstrators, including agents of the Shah’s intelligence service, began battling with students, and the police overreacted, employing brutal tactics in their attempts to control the crowd. In the ensuing tumult, demonstrators dispersed into the side streets.
In the courtyard of Krumme Strasse 66, Ohnesorg was then shot by plain clothes police officer Karl-Heinz Kurras. Ohnesorg died before he could be treated at a hospital. Ohnesorg was a student of Romance and German studies. He was married and his wife was pregnant with their first child.
Ohnesorg‘e death served as a rallying point for the left, and spurred the growth of the left-wing German student movement; later, the ‘Movement 2 June’ group was named for the day of his death.