The next day, April 4, 1968, Dr. King stepped out onto the balcony of his motel room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, as he waited for his staff to gather for dinner. He was shot in the neck by a single bullet from a concealed shooter named James Earl Ray. Dr. King could not survive the loss of blood and died minutes later. He was 39 years old. Dr. King's Assassination The balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, a day before King's assassination. Shown from left: Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, Dr. King, and Rev. Ralph David Abernathy.