When Austin Eubanks was ordered to get under a table because somebody had a gun, he took shelter with his best friend in his school library.
As the shooters entered his school library in Colorado and fired a shot under each table, 17-year-old Austin was hit in the hand and knee, but his best friend, sheltering under the same table, was killed instantly.
It was 1999, and the Columbine High School shooting ultimately left 12 pupils and one teacher dead. Ten of those pupils were killed in the library where Austin was hiding.
The two students responsible then killed themselves, also in the library.
Tragically, 20 years later, Austin Eubanks has been found dead in his home.
Medical staff gave him opioids for his injuries and he noticed that they helped take his emotion away.
He became addicted to those drugs and later worked at an addiction treatment center, traveling around the U.S. telling his story.
Deadliest in U.S. history
Now the 37-year-old been found dead at his Steamboat Springs home and his family released a statement saying he died from the “very disease he fought so hard to help others face.”
Only on May 2 he spoke at the 2019 Connecticut Opioid and Prescription Drug Prevention Conference, according to his Twitter account.
At the time the Columbine High School massacre on April 20 1999 was the deadliest in U.S. history.
Austin Eubanks, injured survivor of the Columbine shooting and Addiction Recovery Speaker talked about his powerful story at today’s @CTDPH Opioids Conference. Thank you @eubanksaustin for sharing with us. For more about Austin, visit his website: https://t.co/WDXYCLwCaI pic.twitter.com/Vcu4WoQsyQ
— Naugatuck Valley HD (@NaugValleyHD) May 2, 2019
High school seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, also left 24 others wounded before turning the guns on themselves.
“A teacher ran through the same doors that we just entered into the library, yelling at everybody to get under the tables, that somebody had a gun, and I remember just being in shock,” Austin told CNN.
‘Took the emotion away’
“Obviously, after that, my life took a pretty big detour,” Eubanks said.
“As a result of my injuries, I was pretty significantly medicated about 45 minutes after being shot. I remember immediately being drawn to that feeling, because it took the emotion away,” he said of the pain medication.
— FOX31 Denver KDVR (@KDVR) May 18, 2019
Austin battled his addiction throughout his 20s finally finding long-term recovery after multiple other attempts, he said.
He then devoted his time to speaking out about addiction recovery.
‘Build a community of support’
His family released a statement to KMGH saying 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.”
They added the cause of death was unknown at this time pending autopsy results.
Hear more from this inspirational man in the video below. Such a huge loss.
He fought so hard to battle the trauma he experienced that day at school. No school kid should ever have to endure such an ordeal and the mental scars he suffered as a result shaped his life from then on.
Please share to pay tribute to such an incredible man; may he now rest in peace.