STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — Austin Eubanks, a survivor of the 1999 Columbine shooting, has died. He was 37.
Routt County Coroner Robert Ryg said Saturday that Eubanks died overnight at his home in Steamboat Springs.
The death was reported early Saturday morning.
Authorities have not yet provided further details regarding the circumstances of Eubanks’ death.
An autopsy was performed Monday. Ryg said there were no obvious signs of Eubanks’ death. A toxicology report will be completed in two to four weeks.
Eubanks was one of 21 people injured in the massacre. The perpetrators shot both him and his friend Corey DePooter in the library. DePooter was killed.
As part of the 20th anniversary of the shooting, Eubanks shared his story of addiction following the shooting with FOX31.
He said an over-prescription of opiates led to a decade of addiction to Oxycontin, Adderall, illicit drugs and alcohol.
About eight years ago, Eubanks said he decided to make a change.
“When I finally decided to do whatever it took to recover, I knew it meant changing everything about my life. And so I walked away from a career in advertising, I went back to school to study addiction, I finally got my foot in the door working part-time for a treatment center. And so I went down and took all of the negative influences out of my life, and I replaced them with people places and things that held me accountable for being the best version of myself,” Eubanks said.
Eubanks also told his story during this TedX Mile High “Ted Talk” a couple of years ago.
While Eubanks’ cause of death has not yet been determined, a family spokesperson sent the following statement:
“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. As you can imagine, we are beyond shocked and saddened and request that our privacy is respected at this time.”
Last week, Eubanks spoke at an event hosted by the Pasco County Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) near Tampa. ASAP board of directors chairperson Monica Rousseau sent the following statement Monday:
“Last Tuesday, our community had the honor to meet and hear Austin Eubanks provide a powerful keynote presentation about the intersection of trauma, mental illness, and addiction. His speech inspired 500 attendees, as he shared his intimate 20-year journey and messages of hope.
Austin’s message resonated in a way that is unique to those who have survived trauma and addiction; but he spoke in a way that made our diverse audience understand and empathize. Most importantly, he motivated everyone to act and make the world a better place in the face of the addiction epidemic.
Austin has stated, ‘What is essential to healing emotional pain is authentic human connection… and that is something we are being torn away from at an ever greater rate.’ We encourage our community members to honor Austin by remembering to always connect authentically with our loved ones, our colleagues, our friends, and every member of our community.
We extend our thoughts and prayers to Austin’s family and friends. Although he has passed too early, his voice will echo in our memories and actions forever.”
A memorial fund has been established in Eubanks’ name.