Why did Shay leave Chicago Fire? (The answer isn’t as surprising as you’d think)

Lauren German as paramedic Leslie Shay on Chicago Fire. Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC.
Lauren German as paramedic Leslie Shay on Chicago Fire. Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC. /

There have been a lot of departures over the years on Chicago Fire, but there is no denying that Lauren German’s departure as Leslie Shay in season 3 still stands as one of the most shocking departures the show has ever seen.

In the season 2 finale, 51 responded to a building fire that took an unexpected turn when an explosion went off leaving Boden on the outside looking in as his the lives of his team hung in the balance. When season 3 picked up, various members of 51 were quickly revealed as being safe from harm with the only exceptions being Dawson and Shay, who were MIA.

When Severide finally found the pair, it was too late for his roommate and friend Shay, who had been fatally injured by a collapsing pipe. As a result of the storyline, Chicago Fire said goodbye to German who departed the series following the death of her character but why did Shay leave Chicago Fire?

Why did Shay leave Chicago Fire after season 3?

The reason Shay left Chicago Fire was due to the writers’ decision to kill the character off of the show. That’s right, it was a decision made by the writing team and was not connected to Lauren German’s requesting an exit storyline from the show.

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Following Shay’s death on the show, executive producer Matt Olmstead revealed to TVLine revealed that the decision to write Shay off of the show was from a feeling that it was time to bring an end to the character’s storyline. As he confessed, the writers looked for the character whose death would be most impactful on the rest of the characters and ultimately “came back to Shay because it affected the most people.”

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