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Columbine Survivor Found Dead

Austin Eubanks struggled with opioid addiction in wake of shooting, 'lost the battle'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2019 6:12 AM CDT
In this April 25, 1999 file photo, shooting victim Austin Eubanks hugs his girlfriend during a community wide memorial service in Littleton, Colo. Recovery took a long dark turn for Austin Eubanks, just...   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

(Newser) – Twenty years after he hid under a library table and managed to survive the Columbine school shooting, Austin Eubanks has been found dead at the age of 37, reports CNN. Eubanks was found at his home during a wellness check after he didn't answer his phone. He struggled with opioid addiction in the wake of the shooting, and went on to become a public speaker on the issue. He was 17 when two shooters entered his high school library, systematically shooting students hiding under tables. Eubanks was shot in the hand and knee; he watched his best friend die.

"As a result of my injuries, I was pretty significantly medicated about 45 minutes after being shot," he once said. "I remember immediately being drawn to that feeling, because it took the emotion away." His family released a statement saying 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." (Read more Columbine school massacre stories.)

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