Columbine victims | Dead | Corey DePooter
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Born March 3, 1982
17 years old
was a former wrestler who loved to hike, golf, hunt, and fish. He loved wrestling, golf and in-line skating, but fishing was his passion. He had recently taken a maintenance job at a golf club to save up to buy a fishing boat with a friend. Someone Corey used to fish with said: "It
Austin Eubanks and Corey DePooter, best friends
was the times we didn't do well that his personality really shined." Another friend said of him: "When you're going fishing or camping, I know he's going to be there, watching and making sure you're doing everything right.
A junior at Columbine at the time of the shootings, Corey is described as an all-American kid who put schoolwork above everything else: He had his wisdom teeth removed that year and was upset that the procedure had forced him to miss school. His sister Jena was a freshman at the high school when he died. He taught her how to fly-fish. Jena said she likes to imagine her brother doing something he loves.
Corey was hiding under a table near the windows with his best friend Stephen "Austin" Eubanks
, Jennifer Doyle
, and Peter Ball when the shooters entered the library. While his friend Austin watched, Dylan Klebold aimed his semi-automatic at Corey and pulled the trigger
, killing him almost instantly and injuring Jenny and Austin.
Austin Eubanks later said about Corey: "People said he was the kind of guy people like to be around. I know I sure did. Corey was always able to pick our spirits up in a gloomy situation."
Though Austin survived, sadly he died from an accidental heroin overdose on May 18, 2019, just weeks after Columbine's 20th anniversary. He struggled with opioid for years after the shooting, having gotten hooked on painkillers while recovering from his injuries. Corey was never far from his thoughts in life; he spoke about him often when he was at public speaking events.
"Corey would have told us to move on," his mother Patricia told the Denver Post
. "He would not like us moping around." But: "There are days you just cry and cry and cry."
Corey died in the library from multiple gunshot wounds to the neck, chest and left arm. His funeral was held at Trinity Christian Center. Soon after his death his grandmother, Fern Hamilton, contacted the Marine Corps about holding some sort of ceremony for Corey because he'd always wanted to become a Marine. On May 3, 2000, Corey was granted that dream during a ceremony at his gravesite in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Littleton, Colorado, where he was made an honorary Marine