'Grey's Anatomy' shocker: [SPOILER]'s sudden death wrecks us all!

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'Grey's Anatomy' Shocker: [SPOILER]'S Sudden Death Wrecks Us All!

Warning: Major spoilers ahead from Thursday's episode of Grey's Anatomy. If you've watched, proceed! If you haven't, stop!

Did that just happen?!

Grey's Anatomy changed everything when one of its main characters, Dr. Derek Shepherd (aka McDreamy), was dramatically killed off on Thursday's episode – effectively saying goodbye to series star Patrick Dempsey after an 11-season run.

"After 11 seasons on Grey's Anatomy, Patrick Dempsey 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," ABC said in a statement. "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."

'Grey's Anatomy': In Memory of Dr. Derek Shepherd

WATCH: Derek's Massive Car Crash on 'Grey's Anatomy' Will Give You Chills

"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,'" Rhimes said 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. 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."

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'Grey's Anatomy' shocker: [SPOILER]'s sudden death wrecks us all!
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 19: GREY'S ANATOMY - 'Staring at the Sun' - The O'Malley Family visits George at the hospital, Meredith is determined to have a more positive outlook on life, Derek and Addison strive for a civil relationship, and Richard endeavors to reunite with his wife, Adele, on 'Grey's Anatomy,' THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Karen Neal/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 14: GREY'S ANATOMY - 'Time Has Come Today' - The doctors of Seattle Grace help Izzie cope with the loss of her fiancé, Denny, and her decision to quit the internship program. Meredith must decide what the future holds after her hospital liaison with Derek. The Chief is confronted by his wife, Adele, after spending the night in his office, and George seeks relationship advice from a surprising source, on the season premiere of 'Grey's Anatomy,' THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ron Tom/ABC via Getty Images)
GREY'S ANATOMY - 'I Want You With Me' - 'Grey's Anatomy' returns for its monumental tenth season with a two-hour event, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. In the second hour, 'I Want You With Me' (10:00-11:00 p.m.), the fight continues to save those affected by the storm, Callie makes a bold decision regarding her relationship, and the doctors come together upon receiving devastating news. (Photo by Danny Feld/ABC via Getty Images) PATRICK DEMPSEY, ELLEN POMPEO
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 08: GREY'S ANATOMY- 'Here Comes the Flood' - A plumbing leak becomes a deluge and wreaks havoc at Seattle Grace, as the Chief attempts to implement new teaching policies and George tries to retake his residency exam; meanwhile Derek hopes to move the roommates out of Meredith's house, to their surprise, on 'Grey's Anatomy,' THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 17: GREY'S ANATOMY - 'The Becoming' - The nurses' objections to McSteamy's trysts lead to the instating of a new 'date and tell' policy. Meanwhile news of Burke's latest career achievements force Cristina to face her feelings for her ex, Meredith and Derek admit a veteran soldier into their clinical trial, and Callie turns to Sloan in her time of need, on 'Grey's Anatomy,' THURSDAY, MAY 8 (9:00-10:02 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Vivian Zink/ABC via Getty Images)
GREY'S ANATOMY - 'Can't Fight Biology' - Things are hostile on all fronts when a visit to the obstetrician results in some disturbing news for Meredith and Derek, and Lexie loses it when she notices Meredith and April getting closer. Meanwhile a car crash brings in multiple traumas and Jackson tries using his physical attributes to get ahead in the operating room, while Cristina's self-doubt carries outside of the hospital and into her house hunting with Owen, on 'Grey's Anatomy,' THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images) PATRICK DEMPSEY, ELLEN POMPEO
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 28: GREY'S ANATOMY - 'There's No 'I' in Team' - Bailey heads up a team of surgeons performing a 'domino procedure' in which each surgery hinges on the one preceding it; Derek gets sole credit for the brain tumor study he did with Meredith; Lexie goes to great lengths to have George notice her romantically, and Sloan counsels a desperate Callie on the ways of love, on 'Grey's Anatomy,' THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images)
GREY'S ANATOMY - 'Shock to the System' -- After weeks of concealing the fact she was pregnant and miscarried, Meredith at last tells Derek and is finally cleared to return to her surgical duties in the wake of the hospital shooting spree; Cristina experiences post-traumatic stress disorder in the midst of an operation; and Bailey refuses to let Alex operate until he agrees to have the bullet in his chest removed, on 'Grey's Anatomy,' THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) PATRICK DEMPSEY, ELLEN POMPEO
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 08: GREY'S ANATOMY- 'Here Comes the Flood' - A plumbing leak becomes a deluge and wreaks havoc at Seattle Grace, as the Chief attempts to implement new teaching policies and George tries to retake his residency exam; meanwhile Derek hopes to move the roommates out of Meredith's house, to their surprise, on 'Grey's Anatomy,' THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 15: GREY'S ANATOMY - 'What a Difference a Day Makes' - As Meredith, Derek and all of their friends prepare for the big wedding, a group of college students, injured in a car crash as they were heading to their graduation ceremony, is admitted to the ER. Meanwhile, Izzie fears the worst when she begins experiencing familiar symptoms, on 'Grey's Anatomy,' THURSDAY, MAY 7 (9:00-10:02 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Scott Garfield/ABC via Getty Images)
GREY'S ANATOMY - 'Superfreak' - When Derek receives an unexpected and unwelcome visit from his estranged sister, Amelia, issues between the siblings -- both past and present -- come to the surface; the Chief tries to help Alex when he notices that he's refusing to use the elevators after his near-fatal shooting; and Meredith and Derek continue their efforts to ease Cristina back into surgery after her post-traumatic stress, on 'Grey's Anatomy,' THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Richard Cartwright/ABC via Getty Images) PATRICK DEMPSEY, ELLEN POMPEO, CATERINA SCORSONE
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 14: GREY'S ANATOMY - 'Time Has Come Today' - The doctors of Seattle Grace help Izzie cope with the loss of her fiancé, Denny, and her decision to quit the internship program. Meredith must decide what the future holds after her hospital liaison with Derek. The Chief is confronted by his wife, Adele, after spending the night in his office, and George seeks relationship advice from a surprising source, on the season premiere of 'Grey's Anatomy,' THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ron Tom/ABC via Getty Images)
GREY'S ANATOMY - ABC's 'Grey's Anatomy' stars Ellen Pompeo as Dr. Meredith Grey and Patrick Dempsey as Dr. Derek Shepherd. (Bob D'Amico/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 28: GREY'S ANATOMY - 'There's No 'I' in Team' - Bailey heads up a team of surgeons performing a 'domino procedure' in which each surgery hinges on the one preceding it; Derek gets sole credit for the brain tumor study he did with Meredith; Lexie goes to great lengths to have George notice her romantically, and Sloan counsels a desperate Callie on the ways of love, on 'Grey's Anatomy,' THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images)
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Derek's tragic end came after he made the big decision to leave his prestigious job in Washington, D.C. to return to his family in in Seattle. To make matters more heartbreaking, Derek and his wife Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) had just put their marriage back together and were so totally in love again after he'd been gone for months. The couple was even excitedly talking about having a third child.

As the gifted neurosurgeon was on his way to the airport to officially leave his post in D.C., he narrowly missed a horrific car accident involving a speed-craving sports car and saved a woman's life. After saving the lives of four car accident victims and sending them to the hospital, a large semi hits Derek's car as he attempts to get back on the road. Rushed to the hospital, Derek was still alive and breathing, but it was the improperly-trained doctors at the hospital that cost him his life. (Why didn't they just get the CT scan?!)

Meredith received the tragic news from the neurosurgeon who attempted to save Derek's life, and hours later, she made the difficult choice to terminate all life-sustaining abilities for her husband. As for Meredith's goodbye to Derek, it was all set to a cover of Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars." All. The. Tears.

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Dempsey had been a regular on the Shonda Rhimes medical drama since the very beginning, when Grey's debuted on the network as a midseason show in 2005. Grey's quickly became a mainstream success for ABC and anchored the competitive 9 p.m. Thursday time slot for the majority of its run before vacating the time period this season for Rhimes' political fixer drama Scandal.

In January 2014, Dempsey and Pompeo had signed two-year deals securing their spots through season 12. However, leading up to his exit, reports had said he clashed with Rhimes, which is supposedly why he did not appear for five episodes this season, with his absence explained as a change in Derek's job status.

A car aficionado, the 49-year-old actor has made it clear in the past a desire to focus on his love of vintage automobiles over acting. At the Television Critics Association press tour in January 2013, while promoting a racing docu-series, Dempsey hinted that his time on Grey's could be coming to a close.

"When you're in a long show, there's less discovery and more of an endurance of having to be present," Dempsey said at the time. "I'm not necessarily bored with the show, I'm very grateful that I have a show that's on for 10 years, but I'm not the creator, I'm not the writer. We're coming up on 200 episodes, [now] it's about surviving. There's not a lot of homework that goes into it. You try to be present and not get caught acting. I'm grateful I have the gig, but it's not the same thing as being in a racecar."

Hmmmmm, could the speed-racing car that caused the course of Derek's life to change forever be related to the actor's admitted true passion? We see what you did there, Shonda!

Dempsey is just the latest original Grey's star to depart the series, following Sandra Oh's most recent exit at the end of season 10. It is unclear whether he would reprise his role should the show earn a 12th-season renewal.

News of Dempsey's departure was leaked earlier when an Entertainment Weekly subscriber received an early copy of the next issue breaking the shocking news.

"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," the publication said in a statement early Thursday.

Are you shocked by Patrick Dempsey's exit? Were you satisfied by the end to Derek's story? Tell us in the comments below and hit us up on Twitter by using the #ETnow hashtag!

Grey's Anatomy's two-hour episode airs next Thursday at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Still can't believe this is the end of Derek Shepherd? Press play on the video below to relive the lead-up to the end of Derek's story.

Derek's Massive Car Crash on 'Grey's Anatomy' Will Give You Chills!
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