SAN JOSE, CA – APRIL 20: Brent Burns #88 of the San Jose Sharks celebrates after he scored a goal in the second period against the Los Angeles Kings in Game Four of the Western Conference First Round during the NHL 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center on April 20, 2016 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

PITTSBURGH — San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns was shot dead Wednesday night by Consol Energy Center security after he picked up a small child that had fallen over the boards and onto the rink in Pittsburgh during Game 2 of the Stanley Cups Finals. While at first it seemed the 6-foot-5, 225-pound hockey player was protecting the child, the decision was made to put him down when he began dragging the 4 year-old back and forth across the ice.

“A hockey player is a very violent animal who really doesn’t know his own strength,” said arena security director Blake Rienhold. “We did what was necessary.”

The majestic Burns, easily identifiable by his thick beard, long hair and missing teeth, was a beloved hockey player and one of only approximately 600 NHL players in the entire world.

“Obviously, it’s a huge loss to have to shoot Brent,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. “But he was in a very aggressive, agitated state. This is the Stanley Cup Final, after all. We couldn’t risk him hurting the child.”

The child who fell onto the ice had been sitting in the front row with his parents and climbed up and over the glass while they were focusing on the play. Burns scooped up the child and initially seemed to be protecting it, but appeared to grow more aggressive when a Penguin approached him. The decision was then made to shoot him.

After dying, Burns missed two shifts and then returned to the ice.