Spoiler Alert: The following story contains spoilers for "The Walking Dead" Season 5 midseason finale.
"[I found out] The day the script came out, during episode 507. I was really sad and shocked, I had no idea," Kinney told THR. "I had a meeting with [showrunner] Scott Gimple and it was very sad. He didn't explain why [Beth was being killed off], but he said it was something he had been planning since season four. I was very upset. We both love working together and for whatever reason, that's how he saw the character going."
Kinney's character died in a hostage exchange on "The Walking Dead's" midseason finale, shot in the head by Dawn -- who was in turn shot in the head by Daryl Dixon. Beth underwent a massive evolution in character since her first appearance on the show, though she rose to popularity as Daryl's traveling companion in season four, and had an episode dedicated entirely to her in season five.
As for Beth's untimely demise, Kinney does think there was a certain amount of heroism in her passing.
"I haven't thought of her as a hero, really. I didn't think of it as a heroic death. You see Daryl and Rick as the heroes because they were the ones coming to get Beth and Carol out. But I think she is a hero in her own way."
"The Walking Dead" returns February 8, 2015.