"Tyler Lockwood [will] always remain a part of the show," showrunner Julie Plec wrote in a statement

By Jacqueline Andriakos
Updated April 07, 2015 01:45 PM
Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW

The Vampire Diaries fans, prepare to bid farewell to the beloved Tyler Lockwood.

Michael Trevino, 30, who plays Mystic Falls’ hunkiest werewolf hybrid, is leaving the popular CW series.

Showrunner Julie Plec announced the news in a statement Monday, writing, “Michael has been a beloved member of the Vampire Diaries family since day one.”

“Even though he’s also going to be out in the world exploring new opportunities, we look forward to finding creative ways to make sure he and his character Tyler Lockwood always remain a part of the show,” she wrote in the statement issued to PEOPLE.

News of Trevino’s departure comes in the wake of The Vampire Diaries star Nina Dobrev, 26, shocking fans with her announcement that she will wrap up after this season. The actress confirmed it Monday via Instagram with a photo of her hugging the show’s creator Plec.

She captioned the shot, “I always knew I wanted Elena’s story to be a six season adventure, and within those six years I got the journey of a lifetime.”

Both of the TVD stars ignited rumors of their looming exits after sharing photos of the cast and crew enjoying a lake getaway together. Fans quickly speculated on social media that the vacation was a goodbye celebration, which Dobrev later confirmed.

The show has already been renewed for a seventh season, despite the recent cast changes. In February, Steven R. McQueen, 26, who plays Elena’s brother Jeremy, also left the cast.

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays (8 p.m. ET) on The CW.

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