First his wife of 15 years files for divorce and now this... Patrick Dempsey's TV character Dr. Derek Shepherd was killed off in Thursday's episode of the long-running TV drama Grey's Anatomy.
The show's exec. producer Shonda Rhimes apparently decided someone had to die, and it might as well be the good doctor, who was run over by a truck as he bent down to pick up his cell phone after saving four lives.
The paroxysms of anger expressed online by distraught Grey's Anatomy fans were swift and unsettling.
Rhimes immediately issued a statement after mourners hanged her likeness in effigy on Twitter.com.
"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.' 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."
ABC network also released a statement.
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."