A Columbine shooting survivor was found dead in his home in what his family said was a lost battle with addiction

  • Austin Eubanks, 37, was found dead at his home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, during a welfare check on Saturday.
  • Routt County, Colorado, Coroner Robert Ryg said no foul play is suspected, and Eubanks’ family said he “lost the battle with the very disease he fought so hard to help others face.”
  • Eubanks was shot in the hand and leg during the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School.
  • Eubanks struggled with opioid addiction following the shooting, and he later became a public speaker discussing his struggles with substance abuse.

A man who survived the 1999 Columbine shooting in Colorado and went on to become a public speaker on substance abuse was found dead on Saturday, according to Routt County, Colorado, Coroner Robert Ryg.

Austin Eubanks, 37, was found dead at his home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, during a welfare check after he didn’t answer his phone, according to CNN.

Ryg said no foul play is suspected. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday, the Associated Press reported.

Eubanks struggled with opioid addiction following the shooting, and he later became a public speaker discussing his struggles with substance abuse.

His family said in a statement to KMGH that Eubanks “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,” his family told KMGH.


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Eubanks was 17 years old when two gunman entered Columbine High School and opened fire.

He was having lunch in the library with friends when he was shot in the knee and hand.

“As a result of my injuries, I was pretty significantly medicated about 45 minutes after being shot. I remember immediately being drawn to that feeling, because it took the emotion away,” he told CNN of the pain medication he was prescribed.

He sought help and found lasting sobriety when he was 29 years old. He chose then to use his own journey to inspire others.

“I think that it’s really important that – not as survivors of trauma but survivors of addiction – speak out and they share their story,” Eubanks told KMGH in a recent interview. “Just because you never know when your story is going to change the life of somebody else.”

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