'Grey's Anatomy' Kills Off Major Character in Shocking Exit

The shocking exit was leaked a few hours earlier after a fan got ahold of a new issue of Entertainment Weekly a day prior to the episode airing, spoiling the big plotline.

AceShowbiz - "Grey's Anatomy" is losing another of its beloved doctors. In a shocking twist that fans didn't see it coming, [SPOILER ALERT!] Patrick Dempsey's character Dr. Derek Shepherd was killed off in the episode titled "How to Save a Life" which aired on Thursday, April 23. In the said episode, Derek was involved in a car accident.

Dempsey actually had signed a two-year contract extension last year that would have kept him on the show through a 12th season. Responding to the actor's exit, series creator/executive producer Shonda Rhimes says in a statement, "Patrick Dempsey's performance shaped Derek in a way that I know we both hope became a meaningful example - happy, sad, romantic, painful and always true - of what young women should demand from modern love."

"Derek Shepherd is and will always be an incredibly important character - for Meredith, for me and for the fans. I absolutely never imagined saying goodbye to our 'Mcdreamy,' " she continues. "His loss will be felt by all. Now, Meredith and the entire Grey's Anatomy family are about to enter uncharted territory as we head into this new chapter of her life. The possibilities for what may come are endless. As Ellis Grey would say ... the carousel never stops turning."

The big plotline was leaked a few hours earlier after a fan got ahold of a new issue of Entertainment Weekly prior to the episode airing. EW apologized for the spoiler, saying, "We are surprised that an EW subscriber may have received their issue a day earlier than planned. We always try our best to bring readers exclusive news first. We would like to apologize to fans of the show that learned the news ahead of time."

@entertainmentweekly how are you going to put that little, tiny, microscopic spoiler alert warning next to a full page picture of the smokin' hot @patrickdempsey and expect people to notice it!?! You literally just RUINED one of the most important moments of @greysabc in the history of the show!! I'm so FURIOUS right now that if I was also fast I'd be filming with Vin Diesel for the 8th installment. I'm seriously considering canceling my subscription. Is that an overreaction? @shondarhimes Am I right?

A photo posted by Paige (@pml122689) on

Dempsey said back in November that he was departing the show "very soon." Sharing his plans once he left the show, he said, "I do want to act [after 'Grey's Anatomy'], but I might take a break and go race and travel first. I haven't found a piece of material I want to do yet."

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