He survived Columbine, only to succumb 20 years later to what some say is the aftermath of the trauma he endured when he was only 17.
Family and friends were stunned on Monday with the news that 37-year-old Austin Eubanks, who had been shot during the 1999 Columbine High School shootings, has died.
“Stunning news, just confirmed: Columbine survivor Austin Eubanks, 37, died overnight in his home in Steamboat Springs. Cause unknown. We’d just interviewed him weeks ago about his struggle with opioids after he was injured & watched his best friend die 20 years ago at Columbine.”
No official cause of death was released, but posts on social media give some insight into the potential link to the tragedy he survived over two decades before.
“Columbine survivor Austin Eubanks - who was very public about his past battle with opioids & who talked all over the country about the need for treatment - died at his home overnight in Steamboat Springs, the Routt County coroner just told me. The cause hasn’t been determined.”
"Columbine shooting survivor Austin Eubanks found dead in home
"Eubanks’ family said in a statement that he 'lost the battle with the very disease he fought so hard to help others face.'"
Eubanks was just 17 years old when shooters Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris stormed Columbine High School in Colorado and began their attack.
Eubanks was in the library at the time having lunch with friends, when his world changed forever.
“Eubanks was shot in the hand and knee and ended up becoming addicted to drugs after taking prescription medication during his recovery.”
In the tragedy’s aftermath, Eubanks devoted years of his life touring the country, talking to audiences about the dangers of addiction, in particular opioids which were his own personal struggle.
“We just got this from a representative for Austin Eubanks’ family. 'Unfortunately Austin lost the battle with the very disease he fought so hard to help others face. Helping to build a community of support is what meant the most to Austin, and we plan to continue his work.'"
“We thank the recovery community for its support. As you can imagine, we are beyond shocked and saddened and request that our privacy is respected at this time.”
The Columbine High School shooting took place on April 20, 1999. In all, 12 students and one teacher lost their lives. Dozens of others were injured, some seriously. Once the rampage was complete, the Klebold and Harris turned the guns on themselves. Both died at the scene.
At the time, Columbine was the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
Please join us in praying for Austin's family and for all the survivors who may still be suffering the same way Austin did.