A man who survived the Columbine school shooting in 1999 has been found dead, CNN reports.
Austin Eubanks, 37, was found deceased early Saturday in his home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Routt County Coroner Robert Ryg told the news station that Eubanks’ body had been located in the course of a welfare check after he wasn’t answering his phone.
No signs of foul play were identified and an autopsy has been scheduled for Monday.
Eubanks was 17 when he was shot in the hand and knee at Columbine, where he was eating lunch in the school’s library. He later became addicted to opioids after taking prescription medications in recovery.
He subsequently became a motivational speaker and openly shared his battle with addiction. As of May 2, he had tweeted from the 2019 Connecticut Opioid and Prescription Drug Prevention Conference.
In a statement to KMGH-TV, Eubanks’ family said he “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.”
The 20th anniversary of the school shooting was just last month.
Eubanks recounted that terrible day in an interview with CNN last year. He said a teacher had run through the library yelling to get under the tables because someone had a gun. One of the shooters arrived about 10 minutes later and fired under each of the tables. While Eubanks survived, his best friend died right 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.”
[Feature image: Shooting victim Austin Eubanks hugs his girlfriend during a community wide memorial service in Littleton, Colo., on Sunday, April 25, 1999. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)]