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‘One Tree Hill’ Character Deaths Explained: Keith Scott, Jimmy Edwards, Nanny Carrie and More

If you were a teengaer in the early 2000s, there’s a solid chance One Tree Hill was one of your favorite TV shows. After all, between the epic love triangles and intense family drama, the CW series was pretty much irresistible. The best part? Nowadays, all nine seasons of One Tree Hill are available on Hulu to relive all over again. 

If you’re watching for the first time, however, it’s important to be aware of one not-so-great aspect of One Tree Hill: the tragic deaths! Problem is, you might have a hard time figuring out exactly what happened in between blowing your nose and ugly crying. With that, we decided to break down the most important characters who die on One Tree Hill and how. *Warning: Major spoilers for seasons 1 through 9 ahead.*

As far as audiences are concerned, a lot (and we mean A LOT) of One Tree Hill fans almost gave up on the series after season 3. Similarly to shows like Grey’s Anatomy and The O.C., the writers made the mistake of killing off one of OTH’s most integral and beloved characters — Keith Scott (played by actor Craig Sheffer). 

In season 3, episode 16, “With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept,” Keith’s brother, Dan Scott (played by actor Paul Johansson) shot and killed him in cold blood but as with most storylines in One Tree Hill, it’s more complicated than just that. 

During the episode, Tree Hill High School falls victim to a school shooting after Jimmy Edwards (played by actor Colin Fickers) brings a gun into the building. Because Keith’s nephew, Lucas Scott (played by actor Chad Michael Murray), was inside, he made the heroic choice to rescue him.

Of course, it’s worth noting Keith and Dan had an incredibly strained relationship after Dan abandoned Lucas and his mother, Karen Scott (played by actress Moira Kelly), after she gave birth. Dan later went on to get married and have another son, Nathan Scott (played by actor James Lafferty), who he focused all of his attention on.

As a result, Keith was truly the only father figure Lucas had ever known. Plus, he and Karen were totally in love. Once Keith was in the school, he managed to get Lucas out before running into Jimmy in the hallway. The troubled teen ended up letting Keith go free but sadly, shot himself shortly thereafter. 

Just when everything seemed to be settling down, Dan managed to get into the school, picked up Jimmy’s gun and shot Keith in a blind rage. Because Jimmy was dead, Dan managed to convince everyone else he was the murderer … for a little while, anyway. 

To learn more about Keith’s death and the other characters on One Tree Hill, scroll through the gallery below.