N’dea Yancey-Bragg, USA TODAY
Published 11:24 a.m. ET May 19, 2019 | Updated 11:40 a.m. ET May 19, 2019
Austin Eubanks, a survivor of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, was found dead early Saturday, according to Routt County Coroner Robert Ryg.
Eubanks, 37, was found at his home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. There were no signs of foul play, according to the coroner, and an autopsy was scheduled for Monday to determine the cause of death.
Eubanks was shot twice – in the hand and the knee – and watched his best friend Corey DePooter die, as they took refuge under a table in their school’s library on April 20, 1999.
DePooter was one of the 13 people – 12 students and one teacher – killed in what was the worst school shooting in U.S. history at the time.
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While Eubanks’ physical pain subsided after a few days, he was prescribed medications and continued to take them. His unwillingness to feel his emotional pain led to an opiate addiction that almost killed him.
He struggled with addiction throughout his 20s and went through multiple treatment centers.
He went on to serve as chief operations officer for Foundry Treatment Center and traveled the country speaking about his personal journey, as well as strategies for addressing the opioid crisis, according to his website.
Eubanks “lost the battle with the very disease he fought so hard to help others face,” according to a statement from his family obtained by KMGH-TV.
“Helping to build a community of support is what meant the most to Austin, and we plan to continue his work,” the statement read. “As you can imagine, we are beyond shocked and saddened and request that our privacy is respected at this time.”
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Contributing: The Associated Press; Megan Henry, The Indianapolis Star
Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg
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