He addressed his supporters in the early morning hours of June 5, 1968 in a ballroom at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He left the ballroom through a service area to greet supporters working in the hotel's kitchen. In a crowded kitchen passageway, Sirhan Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian, opened fire with a .22 caliber revolver and shot Kennedy in the head at close range. Following the shooting, Kennedy was rushed to The Good Samaritan Hospital where he died the next day.
His body was returned to New York City, where he lay in state at St. Patrick's Cathedral for several days before the funeral mass held there. His brother, Senator Ted Kennedy, eulogized him with the words, "My brother need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it."
Senator Kennedy concluded his eulogy, paraphrasing his deceased brother Robert by quoting George Bernard Shaw: "Some men see things as they are and say 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say, 'Why not?'"
Immediately following the mass, Kennedy's body was transported by special train to Washington, D.C. Thousands of mourners lined the tracks and stations, paying their respects as the train passed by.
Kennedy was buried near his brother, John, in Arlington National Cemetery. He had always maintained that he wished to be buried in Massachusetts, but his family believed that, since the brothers had been so close in life, they should be near each other in death. In accordance with his wishes, Kennedy was buried with the bare minimum military escort and ceremony. Robert Kennedy's burial at Arlington National Cemetery was the only one to ever take place at night.