Leslie Shay on ‘Chicago Fire’: Character’s Death, Story Line

Chicago Fire kicked off season 11 in September 2022 with several beloved characters returning to reprise their roles. Years after Lauren German’s departure from the series, fans have continued to wonder why her character, Leslie Shay, was shockingly written out of the show. Keep scrolling to find out what happened to Shay.

What Happened to Shay on ‘Chicago Fire’? 

Firehouse 51 paramedic Shay made her debut on Chicago Fire during the show’s first season in 2012. It seemed like the fan favorite character, known by her last name, had a bright future on the drama series as one of the only females on the male-dominated crew. The following season, Lauren’s character’s storyline took a dramatic turn. 

During the season 2 finale titled “Real Never Waits,” Shay entered a burning building and was struck by falling debris. Her fate was left unclear in the cliffhanger episode before it was revealed that an arsonist intentionally set traps to kill first responders. It was confirmed during the 2014 season 3 premiere that Shay died in the building. Her coworkers honored her by painting a tribute on the door of Ambulance 61. 

Leslie Shay on ‘Chicago Fire’: Character’s Death, Story Line
nvision/AP/Shutterstock

Is Shay Coming Back to ‘Chicago Fire’?

Lauren did appear in a few flashbacks following her character’s death; however, it seemed like her time on the show had come to a definitive end. More than a decade since she made her Chicago Fire debut, some longtime viewers have questioned whether the door is still open for the character to ever return again in the future.

Executive producer Matt Olmstead later revealed that the producers wrestled with the idea of potentially killing off another character. In the end, they felt Shay’s departure would make the biggest impact. He revealed Lauren’s reaction to the news that her character was going to be killed off. 

“There was some discussion that this might be happening, and she was very professional about it,” he explained during a September 2014 interview with TV Line. “She joked that she wasn’t going to miss the Chicago winters. She’s a California girl. So, it was nice to know she was able to joke about it a little bit.” 

As for whether she would ever return in more flashbacks, the showrunner revealed that Lieutenant Kelly Severide had DVDs in his possession with clips of his greatest memories with Shay. “​​Who knows down the line when he might pop one in to remember her when he needs to?” he teased. 

Where Is Lauren German Now?

Shay’s heartbreaking TV death is one that fans truly have never really gotten over. In fact, Lauren was nominated for Favorite TV Character We Miss the Most at the 2015 People’s Choice Awards. After leaving Chicago Fire, the 7th Heaven alum landed a main role on Lucifer. She appeared in more than 90 episodes of the show from 2016 until the series finale in 2021. 

As the 10-year anniversary of Shay’s death approaches, Chicago Fire fans took to Twitter to share their love for the character. “I’m still waiting for her appearance,” one hopeful viewer tweeted among all of the touching tributes.

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