Mark Duggan was a "crack cocaine dealer" who was part of a gang with links to Jamaica's Yardies, according to reports.
The father-of-four was shot and killed last Thursday evening in an exchange of fire between him and officers from Scotland Yard's Operation Trident, who specialise in tackling black-on-black gun crime.
Duggan's fiance Semone Wilson has not yet told their children that their father is dead.
Wilson and Duggan, both 29, had been a couple since they were 17 and they have two sons together aged 10 and seven, and a baby girl. Duggan also had a fourth child from another relationship.
"Mark was a good dad," Miss Wilson, a student at Middlesex University, told the Daily Mail. "He loved his kids dearly. He idolised them."
Duggan's friends and family say that Duggan was unarmed when he was shot. It was Duggan's death that sparked the riots in Tottenham at the weekend.
According to reports, Duggan was a member of The Star Gang who were involved in violence and drugs.
Some residents in the Broadwater Farm estate where Duggan grew up told the Daily Mail that he was a crack cocaine dealer who usually carried a gun.
Moments before he was fatally shot, Duggan had phoned his fiancee Semone Wilson.
"I spoke to him at about 5pm [on Thursday] and he asked me if I would cook dinner and I said “Yes”, she told the Mail.
"At about 6pm he sent out a message on his BlackBerry saying “the Feds are following me”, and that’s it, the last time anyone heard from him.
"By 6.15, he had been gunned down.
"I kept phoning and phoning to find out where he was. He wasn’t answering. I didn’t know what had happened."
Later, Mark's brother Marlon phoned her.
"Marlon phoned me and told me what had happened,’ she said. ‘I didn’t believe it. I kept phoning Mark, then everyone was phoning me. Then I thought it must be true because I still hadn’t heard from him."
"Mark was known to police but he had never been sent down for anything before. He has been on remand. I can’t remember what for, but it was about nine years ago.
"I believe that if he had a firearm [on the evening he died] and if he saw police he would run rather than shoot. When he was remanded last time, he said he hated jail and never wanted to go back there. I can’t see why he would have a gun on him at all."