Cyrus Green, the teen fatally shot by police last weekend, was an alcoholic and spent much of his life in and out of jail, a youth worker tells CBC News.
"Cyrus was an alcoholic," said Wallis Kendall, who works with troubled youth. "At the bottom line, that's the driving force."
The last time he saw Green, the 17-year-old was behind bars at the Edmonton Young Offender Centre, said Kendall.
"(Green) spent the last few years mostly in EYOC," he said. "He ended up in EYOC on a number of occasions due to the fact of drinking and having things go wrong when he was drinking."
Alcohol transformed Green, said Kendall.
"When you're drinking, you become fearless — you become very bold and you're not afraid to do stuff," said Kendall. "And that was Cyrus."
Police responding to mugging
Green died after being shot three times by a police officer early Saturday morning. Police were responding to a mugging near 118th Avenue and Wayne Gretzky Drive.
Police said the teen lunged at the constable with a knife and a baseball bat.
Green had a long criminal record filled with robbery and assault convictions, said Kendall.
Green had spent the evening in a nightclub, said friend Shayne Morley.
Green was wanted by police on the night of the shooting for breaching a community supervision order.
CBC News has learned Green lost a family member to violence two years ago.
In April 2009, Marlon Cutknife, a close relative, was stabbed to death during a fight also involving baseball bats and knives.
Cutknife was also 17 at the time.
Kendall thinks Cutknife's death had a profound impact on Green.
"I think that was something that really bugged him," he said. "Everybody tells me it really bothered him a lot."