'Grey's Anatomy' Shocker: Shonda Rhimes, ABC Issue Statements

Patrick Dempsey in 'Grey's' (ABC)
Patrick Dempsey in 'Grey's' (ABC)

"Grey's Anatomy" shocked fans on Thursday night with a heartbreaking twist.

(Spoiler Alert: This story contains major details from Thursday's episode of the long running ABC drama.)

"Grey's" has lost a major member of the Seattle Grace family. On Thursday's episode, the show killed off none other than Patrick Dempsey's Dr. Derek Shepherd!

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"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,'" "Grey's" boss Shonda Rhimes said in a statement after the episode aired. "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. 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."

In Thursday's episode, after saving the lives of four people involved in a harrowing collision, Derek was reaching down to get his cell phone in his car, on what seemed like an empty road, when his vehicle was hit by a truck. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where a series of medical mistakes occurred, one after the other (Derek's voiceover explained all the mistakes they made).

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Eventually, after authorities came to her door with the bad news, Meredith Grey went to the hospital where they were treating Derek and she had to make a choice.

She opted to let Derek go, and a montage of memories of the early days of their romance aired as he slipped away, soundtracked to a cover version of "Chasing Cars," the Snow Patrol song so associated with the show.

ABC also released a statement on Patrick's exit as Derek, noting the actor is, "moving on to pursue other interests."

"Dr. Derek Shepherd is an iconic character and we’ve been proud to be the home of 'McDreamy' and the 'Mer/Der' love story," the network's statement read. "The devotion of 'Grey’s' fans throughout the years has been a testament to the creative mind of Shonda Rhimes and Dempsey’s talent. 'McDreamy' will be greatly missed and we wish Patrick the very best in his future endeavors."

-- Jolie Lash

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