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. francais007

    "We take our kids to the movies all the time"...do you actually take them to something rated for a child under 5?! I would have been seething mad if I was in the theater with this couple and their two small children!!! I am fourty years old and I don't even subject myself to that much violence! Who the hell cares if your 4 year old "likes Batman"?! My 3 1/2 year old sees Batman on everything and thinks he is cool, but I would never let him watch a Batman movie! He knows that Batman is a superhero, and does things to help people in need. My husband and I do not leave the house to selfishly go to a violent rated R movie meant for ADULTS OVER 17, unless we can afford a sitter!! Grow up people! This couple is just disgusting in their selfishness. AND HE LEFT THE KIDS IN THE THEATER!!!! How do you not protect your child! Waste of space is what these people are.

    July 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dave

    Wow! There certainly are a lot of misandrist sows and pigs commenting on this thread. I hope you all are put in the same situation the man was in. Misandry Rules!

    July 30, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. the_dbs

    Is there anyway CNN can update us when they each have to take a crap?

    July 30, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Julie B

    Kudos to the mom for staying and saving her kids lives. But she deserves a real man not a coward that ran and saved himself,leaving her and her babies to die.

    July 31, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • lynnmarie97

      Agreed. That is akin to the Captain jumping ship leaving the passengers to die.....only worse. The mom is the hero here, no excuse for the I'll save myself and hope the others get out alive mentality of her man.

      July 31, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • truefax


      August 2, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. User42

    How the heck can a 4 month old get away from him in that situation?

    July 31, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. ashleym512

    WOW...he left his kids and their mother to die?! So she took the bullet and got her kids out... DON'T MARRY HIM!!!!! For the love of all that is good RUN!

    July 31, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mark5

    Why does it always take a tragedy to highlight every day events that we take for granted? Perhaps we should start celebrating life events without them being attached to bad things. How about CNN attending random weddings for example and let us all celebrate life together. It really is too bad that it takes someone going on a shooting spree to wake us up from the slumber.

    July 31, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. steven

    I hate to comment on such dramatic moments especially when someone has to chose between life and death but I have to say. Wife and kids or gf and kids whatever. I would not have left until I knew they were safe even if it meant my own life. The simple thought of my child alone in that building would of been more than enough reason to stay.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dana

    what an embarassing story!!! They take 2 small children to a midnight showing of violent movie and then he flees for himself when the shooting starts??? I think those babies should be taken away from them both. Total idiots to be putting themselves out there to the media.....shame on you both!!!!!

    July 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. lynnmarie97

    It is never, never, never OK to take small children and infants to adult oriented films, Batman included. And a midnight showing to boot! Not only is it bad for the kiddo's, the kiddo's generally do not have the attention span to sit through a movie geared toward older teens and adult. The little ones usually become a source of annoyance for the adults that paid to see a movie rated PG-13. Use the ratings and keep the babies at home, an afternoon matinee of a Disney flick will be much more enjoyable for them guaranteed! Taking small kids and babies to PG13 and R rated movies is motivated by the selfishness of the parents. Nothing good happens after midnight folks leave the babies at home.

    July 31, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. LastoftheZucchiniFlowers

    DON'T MARRY HIM BECAUSE HE IS A COWARD of the lowest order. He LEFT YOU and your CHILDREN to DIE!!!! IF you choose to marry him – be prepared for the WORST LIFE EVER because you knew he was a skunk BEFORE you married him. Nuff said. If you don't have the brains or guts to walk away – think of your innocent children....do THEY deserve to have their mother married to someone who puts his life above theirs....

    July 31, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lisa

    "isn't the time or the place for a proposal"...yeah how about when she was having your child? That would have been a good time!
    I know she's a single Mom of two but doesn't she want someone better than some guy who leaves her and her two children to fend for themselves with a gunman? This guy is crap.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. Summer

    Everyone needs to stop judging. You weren't in the theater at the time. You don't know the full story of what you may do in that situation. And don't say, "I would never leave". YOU DON"T KNOW UNLESS YOU"RE IN THE SITUATION YOURSELF. I'm not saying what he did was right. People need to stop judging others.

    August 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. lala

    Oh my goodness he left his baby in the theater! Thank God that Mom took care of them both. It still is unbelievable to me that the kids were out of bed and there – mine would be so cranky and crabby at that hour.

    August 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. struck dumb

    How can you marry a man,
    that when he was needed the most to protect his family ....drops the baby and runs to save himself hoping that they will be okay...... better to be alone with the children raising them and protecting as you did alone in the dark.....while he was thinking i hope they get out..........who needs him you don't

    August 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stabmaster Arson

      Dude pulled a George Kostanza, lol.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
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