Kevin Alejandro Discusses His Shocking 'Southland' Departure: 'I Thought It Was An Amazing Way To Go Out'

Fans of TNT’s “Southland” were shocked and saddened on Tuesday when Kevin Alejandro’s character, Gang Det. Nate Moretta, was suddenly and violently killed.

AccessHollywood.com went directly to the handsome actor to get the inside scoop on why he left the hit cop drama.

“As you know, [‘Southland’] kind of went through a rocky road with NBC,” Kevin told AccessHollywood.com on Friday. “We got picked up our first season and then we got picked up for a bigger season and they cancelled us after we shot our sixth episode that we aired — we kind of spun around not knowing what was going on during that hiatus [prior to being picked up by TNT].

“I got offered [a role on HBO’s] ‘True Blood’ and it was at the point where everything was up and in the air and no one really knew what was going to happen,” he continued. “…I have a family and everything and had to think about them, and career and everything, and [the ‘Southland’ crew] was really cool about working with me and helping me come up with a decision of taking the offer.”

Kevin joined the cast of “True Blood” in June 2010 and initially attempted to work on both shows, but said the grueling schedule made staying with “Southland” an impossibility.

“Towards the end of ‘Southland,’ I was three days at ‘Southland,’ two days at ‘True Blood,’ just going back and forth, back and forth,” Kevin told Access. “Productions were really cool about working it out and making it happen, but ‘True Blood’ is such a crazy, crazy schedule.”

After making the decision to join the vampire series full time, “Southland” writers were faced with the challenge of creating an appropriate demise for Kevin’s character, Nate.

Ultimately, the charming detective was struck on the back of the head by a gang member and [presumably] died from brain trauma at the hospital at the end of Tuesday’s show – an injury Kevin revealed was tragically inspired by actual events.

“I didn’t have any say in how [Nate’s death] was going to go down, but as you know, a lot of the [storylines] are true,” Kevin told Access. “This happened to be a story that [executive producer] Chris Chulack had heard through a detective or a police officer and it sort of struck him in a way that said, ‘If you have to go, I think this would be the way to do it.’

“I thought it was an amazing way to go out,” he continued. “It was so unexpected and that’s the way life is. You never know, and it happened that quick — in four seconds you’re done.”

Kevin’s violent death on the show marks the third time a TV character he’s played has been killed off – the blue-eyed heartthrob was also unceremoniously killed on Showtime’s “Sleeper Cell,” as well as on ABC’s “Ugly Betty,” where his character (Santos) was shot during a convenience store hold up – is this a trend?!?

“I hope not,” Kevin told Access. “I’ve been getting a lot of comments like, ‘Dude, you’re dying on this, you die on that, what’s next?’

“So, lucky for me, the couple times I have been killed off, it’s been nice and fast,” he added.

Additionally, the 34-year-old actor told Access “Southland” fans can rest easy that the popular detective will not be easily forgotten, saying, “You will see a little bit about how they deal with my death — it’s not going to be a story left untold.”

Watch “Southland” on Tuesdays at 10 PM on TNT to see how the story plays out. For fans facing “Kevin withdrawals,” catch the actor in his new gig as Jesus Velasquez when Season 4 of “True Blood” premieres during Summer 2011 on HBO.

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