The Good Wife Bombshell: Creators Explain Why It Had to Happen

Julianna Margulies on The Good Wife

Jeffrey Neira/CBS

updated 03/24/2014 AT 7:30 AM ET

originally published 03/24/2014 AT 8:00 AM ET

Are any of your coworkers sobbing quietly at their desks?

If they’re fans of The Good Wife, they have good reason: The CBS legal drama hit viewers with a sudden and saddening twist Sunday night as one of its most fundamental characters was killed off from the show.

Read on for spoilers.

Will Gardner, an attorney portrayed by Josh Charles since the show debuted five seasons ago in 2009, died after he was shot in a Chicago courtroom by an unstable client.

Jolted fans took to Twitter with their own assessments of the plot twist on the Julianna Margulies-driven series characterized by its knack for drama.

As viewers wait to see how this bombshell will color next week’s episode, The Good Wife showrunners Michelle and Robert King penned a letter (addressed “Dear Loyal Good Wife Fans”) to explain the decision, which was impacted by Charles’s own endeavor to leave the show.

“We, like you, mourn the loss of Will Gardner. And while Will is gone, our beloved Josh Charles is very much alive and remains an integral part of our family,” they tell viewers (via CBS.com).

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