July 20th, 2012
10:50 PM ET

Couple who saw movie with baby to marry

A couple who were in the Aurora, Colorado, theater when a gunman opened fire early Friday told CNN's Piers Morgan that their day ended on a happy note with a marriage proposal.

Patricia Legarreta said Jamie Rohrs popped the question at the hospital after the shooting.

"He said, 'I know this isn’t the time or the place, but will you marry me,' and I said, 'yes,'" Legarreta said.

The couple gained attention in the immediate aftermath of the shootings that left 12 dead and 58 injured because they went to the midnight show of "The Dark Knight Rises" with Legarreta's 4-year-old daughter and their 4-month-old son.

Morgan opened his interview with the couple, saying CNN viewers wanted to know why they would take such young children to a midnight movie.

“I take my kids to the movies all the time,” Legarreta said. "My 4-year-old daughter loves Batman. We were excited."

It was to be a night out for the family that had just moved to the area from New Mexico, she said.

"We decided last-minute to go and get tickets and go as a family to the movies," Legarreta said.

What ensued was a nightmare.

Rohrs described how he lost 4-month-old Ethan in the darkness, gunfire and smoke in the theater and how he had to decide whether to search for the baby or escape the theater himself. He chose the latter.

"Just pray that he won’t kill your 4-month-old," an emotional and shaken Rohrs said he thought as he fled the theater.

Once outside, he debated going back in to find the rest of his family, but then he thought they may be out and he could leave the children orphans if they did get out and he went back in and was killed.

"Just please let them get out alive. I don’t want to live if they all die," Rohrs said he thought to himself.

He later found out Legaretta was able to gather both kids as she escaped the theater, suffering a minor bullet wound in the process.

Legaretta said she feared the worst for Rohrs.

"Going through 10 minutes of thinking he was dead and I’d never see him again, you don’t want that feeling again," she said as to why she welcomed the marriage proposal.

Are infants too young for late-night movies?

How to talk to your kids about shootings

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Filed under: Colorado • Crime
soundoff (324 Responses)
  1. Mimi

    He left behind an infant and small child and his fiancee to save himself, then DROVE AWAY??

    Well I hear Penn State may be interested in hiring someone of his character and integrity...

    July 20, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      Loser is too nice to call this jerk!!

      July 20, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bob

    Hmmm... Save myself or Save my two children... It is truly a tough question, do you think the killer would kill a 4 year old or a 3 month old child thats helpless? likely not. I would have done what the father did, more children/girls out there.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • liz

      You are the ultimate troll. You seriously win the prize of all prizes for trolling. I have to tell myself that so that I can sleep at night hoping like hell there aren't REALLY people like you in this world.

      July 20, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ris

      I agree! But i dont think the killer cared about age, since a 6 year old was shot. Crazy people in this world.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      Seriously??? You are an idiot!!! He killed 12 helpless people. So to think he would not shoot the two children because they are "helpless" is absurd!

      July 23, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kay

    Yeah, he sounds like a real gem. She managed to scrambled 2 kids and suffer a bullet wound. He sounds lucky to even have someone to ask to marry him.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      You said it.
      Plus – what kind of dopes bring tiny babies to midnight movies? People who maybe ought to grow up before they have kids maybe?
      Sorry, but this "family" is rather less than heartwarming. They're very lucky their baby wasn't killed in the melee.

      July 20, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joelle

    WOW. I would NEVER leave my children behind to take a chance!!! Because the 4-month-old can save himself from the attacker. RIGHHHHTTTT. I guess we already question the parenting skills of this couple by bringing a 4-month-old baby to a midnight showing of an action film. What a couple of losers.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Christine

    "Rohrs described how he lost 4-month-old Ethan in the darkness, gunfire and smoke in the theater and how he had to decide whether to search for the baby or escape the theater himself. He chose the latter."

    Real marriage material. Loser. I hope his son never has to read this.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. callygirl

    The mom is the real hero in this story. She managed to get both kids out while he found himself outside...alone. If you want to see a person's true character, put them in a crisis situation.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bill

    These look and sound like the kind of people who should marry each other. It's a shame one or both of them weren't sterile though. I typically try to avoid judging parents, and while bringing a 4-year-old to see the Batman movies is questionable at the least, bringing a four-month old is outrageous. Spare us the nonsense about wanting to have a fun family night out and just admit you didn't want to spend money on a sitter so you could do something you wanted to do, and are too young, stupid, and immature to realize that being a good parent means sacrificing things like midnight movies.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Denisse

    I can't believe the dumb decision these two made to take two such young kids to the darn movies, at that hour no less! Not saying parents can't go out but get a sitter, and if you can't afford one, then maybe you shouldn't be going to the movies or ask a family member or friend to baby-sit. Honestly.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Get Real

    Maybe I am messed up in the head from being in the military but I would be come the boogy man's boogy man the minute I thought my kids were gone.
    You better kill me with every bullet in that gun. But this is all at the side of my computer while enjoying a glass of coke. This guy is a big dude for admitting what did (or didn't do). What a horrible situation.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mich

    This film is so violent I don't even want to watch it, yet they took their 4 year old and baby? This is not regular bat man, this is a horror film for adults! I would not even give them the air time. Horrible parents and to hear he left the baby behind and hoped it did not get shot... I'm disgusted! I would go face to face with anyone if it came down to my children. Absolutely in no possible way would I have left any of my children behind. The movie is PG-13 so how did their children get in? I wish more people carried in that place, maybe people might have not died or less would have died.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bob

    WHY would you bring a 4-month-old infant to watch BATMAN...?

    July 20, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tom

    Don't bring kids to adult movies. It ruins it for everyone else.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. magnus

    there is no way in hell, never, ever, would i ever leave my children in a movie theater with a gunman. Never never never. This guys is a loser.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. nepawoods

    Taking a 4 year old and a 4 month old to a loud, violent movie after midnight. Going on national TV to tell how he abandoned them in fear for his own safety. How stupid can some people be?

    July 20, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • snowball

      Apparently incredibly stupid and without shame.

      July 21, 2012 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
  15. bad choices

    She should him back in as number 13. Here is another family I'll be supporting.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
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