Austin Eubanks was a student at Columbine High School in 1999 when two male students walked in with rifles and shotguns and killed 12 of his classmates and a teacher. One of the victims was his best friend. Eubanks was shot in the hand and knee, but he survived. He took medication to deal with the pain, but he became addicted to the medication, which he admitted a few years ago he took to try and erase his emotional pain as well.
Sadly, Eubanks lost his battle with the disease and was found dead in his home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado on Sunday. He was 37 years old.
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."
It continued, "As you can imagine, we are beyond shocked and saddened and request that our privacy is respected at this time. 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's death comes at a time when several other shooting survivors have tragically committed suicide. Sydney Aiello, a 19-year-old survivor of the 2018 shooting at Parkland High School, took her own life in March. She was one of several people to suffer from "survivor's guilt."
Recently, two teenagers terrorized another high school in Colorado, the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) charter school in Highlands Ranch, only eight miles from Columbine. Five months earlier, a concerned mother sent a letter to administrators informing them that the bullying and violence she'd seen at the school could soon lead to a repeat of the 1999 massacre.