In April 1999, Austin Eubanks survived the mass shooting at Columbine High School, but the effects of the tragedy never left him. Now Eubanks' death is shinning a light on the pain shared by many survivors.
Eubanks, 37, was found dead early Saturday morning at his Steamboat Springs home in Colorado.
Routt County Coroner Robert Ryg has yet to determine the cause of death, but stated there were no signs of foul play.
During the 1999 shooting, Eubanks was shot twice, once in the hand and once in the knee. He was later prescribed opioids to manage the physical pain, but for Eubanks the drugs became a way to escape the emotional pain of the tragedy that took the life his best friend Corey DePooter and 12 others.
By the time his prescription ran out Eubanks was already addicted.
It was seven years before Eubanks admitted he had an addiction and began seeking help.
Columbine survivor Austin Eubanks, 37, dies at Steamboat Springs home www.youtube.com
After overcoming his own addiction Eubanks dedicated himself to helping others living with pain and addiction.
Unfortunately the one person Austin could not save may have been himself.
The world lost an incredible human this weekend. And I lost a dear friend. God bless you, Austin Eubanks. I will… https://t.co/fOLd4BvFZn— Ryan Hampton (@Ryan Hampton)1558261251.0
@RyanForRecovery @mandystadt @eubanksaustin Austin Eubanks didn't ask for the hand that was dealt him, but he did t… https://t.co/diScCw5rj5— Jess Clackum (@Jess Clackum)1558299847.0
@RyanForRecovery @eubanksaustin I am sorry for your loss. He was an inspiration to me, having survived my own traum… https://t.co/po9f5RA0G0— Heather Callahan (@Heather Callahan)1558287135.0
If ruled a suicide Eubanks' death will add to a growing list of survivor deaths.
In the months following the Columbine attack a mother and a student both took their own lives. Recently there have been even more instances of survivor suicide, including Jeremy Richman, the father of a Sandy Hook shooting victim, and two Parkland students.
"We've lost so many people along the way: that isolation, that grief, that anger manifests in the worst possible ways," said Columbine survivor Zach Cartaya."
It's awful, it's devastating, but unfortunately it's not shocking."
Sadly Eubanks' death highlights that many mass shootings are still claiming victims years after they occurred. It's another tragic reason many are renewing the call to finely do something about gun violence.
We don’t always get an accurate casualty figure in the immediate aftermath. Trauma is a patient predator. Sometimes… https://t.co/srgCQEofRi— Laura Parrott Perry (@Laura Parrott Perry)1558262050.0
@lparrottperry Trauma is a patient predator. Well said.— G's World (@G's World)1558290206.0
This is what senseless violence does. Even long after the initial act, it leaves scars for years to come, and takes… https://t.co/15Ijo3QL96— Rexavia Stewart (@Rexavia Stewart)1558259851.0