Columbine Shooting Survivor Austin Eubanks Found Dead at 37

Motivational speaker Austin Eubanks, who survived the Columbine school shooting, was found dead early on Saturday at age 37, The Denver Channel reports.

Routt County, Colorado, Coroner Robert Ryg said that Eubanks was discovered at his home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and passed away late Friday night or early Saturday morning. No foul play was suspected, and an autopsy will be performed on Monday morning to determine the cause of death.

After surviving the 1999 shooting, Eubanks went on to become a speaker on addiction and trauma, speaking across the country and discussing his personal journey as well as the issues of substance abuse, his website shares. He was also the program director at The Foundry, a substance abuse treatment center in Steamboat Springs.

In a statement, his family said 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."

"As you can imagine, we are beyond shocked and saddened and request that our privacy is respected at this time," the statement continued. "Based on information received from the Routt County coroner, the cause of death is unknown at this time, pending autopsy results. We thank the recovery community for its support."

Eubanks was 17 when the Columbine attack occurred. He was eating lunch in the school's library when two gunmen entered, killing 10 people, including Eubanks' best friend, Corey DePooter. Eubanks was shot in the hand and knee.

He told Denver7 in 2016 that doctors prescribed him pain medication, which he ended up abusing.

"I didn't know any better. I was 17 years old, and I had been given medication to feel better," he said. "Immediately I learned that if I took substances, I didn't have to feel, I didn't have to feel the emotional pain."

Three months after the shooting, Eubanks was addicted to painkillers, eventually seeking help six years later and later becoming sober.

"I was 29 years old before I found lasting sobriety and I think it took a level of maturity and willingness on my part to do what it takes and for me I had to change pretty much everything about my life," he said.

He added that he wanted to use his own story to inspire others, working at The Foundry, volunteering with nonprofit groups and traveling as a speaker.


"I remember...hitting multiple low points in my life and thinking there was no way out and i just want people to know there is a way out," he said. "Change is possible, change is possible for anybody."

Photo Credit: Instagram / @eubanksaustin