Columbine Survivor's Death Ruled Accidental

Austin Eubanks died of a heroin overdose
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2019 9:21 AM CDT
Heroin Overdose Killed Columbine Survivor
This March 18, 2019, photo shows Columbine High School shooting survivor Austin Eubanks.   (AP Photo/P. Solomon Banda)

Austin Eubanks was found dead in his Colorado home on May 18, 20 years after he hid under a library table and managed to survive the Columbine school shooting. Now the Routt County Coroner's Office has confirmed his cause of death: acute heroin toxicity. Coroner Robert Ryg tells CNN the 37-year-old's death has been "ruled an accidental heroin overdose. I'm very sad about it myself," Ryg added. "We were hoping for something else, heart attack or something." The Denver Post reports the autopsy report stated that Eubanks was found by his father.

Eubanks had struggled with opioid addiction in the wake of the shooting, in which he was shot in the hand and knee; he watched his best friend die. He went on to become a public speaker on the issue, most recently speaking on May 2. "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." (Here's what Eubanks' family had to say.)

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