Two years ago, Austin Eubanks presented this speech as part of a TEDx talk in Colorado, about the time he was in school and a teacher burst into the cafeteria to tell students to get down, a student had a gun.
It was Columbine High School, and Eubanks, 17 at the time, played dead under a table.
The two Columbine shooters killed 12 students, including Austin’s best friend, and one teacher before they killed themselves or each other.
On Saturday, they killed Eubanks.
Eubanks was found dead in his Steamboat Springs, Colo., home, the victim, apparently, of an overdose.
His family said he “lost the battle with the very disease he fought so hard to help others face.”
In a 2017 BBC interview, he spoke of his hospitalization after the shooting. He’d been shot in the hand and knee and was medicated with sedatives and pain relievers.
“I became addicted before I even knew what was happening,” he said. “I didn’t know any better. I was 17 years old, and I had been given medication to feel better. Immediately I learned that if I took substances, I didn’t have to feel. I didn’t have to feel the emotional pain.”
It took six years before he sought help for his addiction.
Eventually, he worked trying to help others with addictions, telling a Denver TV station it was important they speak out and share their story. “Just because you never know when your story is going to change the life of somebody else.”