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. Stabmaster Arson

    They'll be divorced in less than five years.

    August 2, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dan

    These people are obviously white trash, and are mentally deficient. Stop talking about them like they are capable of making intelligent decisions.

    August 2, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • truefax

      that girl must be one of those white hispanics.
      RIGHT?
      Agreed on the dude, he's probably a teabagger to boot.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. joe

    I thought I misread the article when I saw the ages of the kids that they had at the midnight showing. Who takes babies that age out that late?

    Anyway, this man is a coward. I once saw a man grab a little girl out of the way of a cab and save her life, and he ended up with two broken legs and a shattered pelvis. He didn't even know her. This POS dude made the decision to leave his own baby? What a coward.

    August 2, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • gabgun

      Are you kidding me – he left his children during all of that - yes, that's the type of person that can take his child to a midnight show!!!!! He's a real winner!! She should have realized that when he didn't ask the question with their first child 4 yrs ago!!

      August 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Alisha

    Never in my lifetime would I EVER EVER EVER even consider leaving my child in a situation like that. It would be over my dead body LITERALLY to get my children out of a situation like this. I couldn't live with myself with the thoughts going through my children's minds during this and them scared to death relying on me and I'm a coward and run. This story makes me sick.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Fgavidia

    If she can't see what a loser he is after he leaves her and the kids to die, then she totally deserves the marriage.

    August 3, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. LL

    An unarmed man with no means to defend himself or his family fled an incredibly dangerous situation that he had no control over. As a result he survived and his fiance will have a husband and his kids will have a dad. This is a great outcome. Jamie Rohrs you don't deserve to be called names. I wish you and your family the best.

    August 3, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hana

      "An unarmed man with no means to defend himself or his family fled an incredibly dangerous situation ..."

      This guy acted in self preservation. No doubt about it in my mind anyway. As a father and a soon to be husband though... self preservation is not the first quality that should top his list. He said he was staying outside where it was safe because he didn't want to make his kids orpahns, but he didn't even know if his kids were alive to be orphaned. I have to agree with the majority that this guy is a looser. Armed or not, most parents care enough for their children to sheild them from harm. If that's what he'd done and been shot for his efforts, no one would have thought less of him. You don't need a weapon to be a good person or a hero. This man was neither.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • DaveS

      You don't leave your family behind and save yourself when someone is shooting at you. Period. It's sad that this actually has to be explained to some people.

      August 6, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • joe

      wow....i can't believe he left his kids and wife. None of us ever know what we would do in that situation but I just cannot see leaving my girl and my kids behind. No way. Never.

      August 6, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Eve

    What a loser. Poor kids.

    August 4, 2012 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. imoti varna

    I have been browsing online greater than 3 hours nowadays, yet I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It's beautiful worth enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did, the net might be a lot more helpful than ever before.

    August 4, 2012 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. mandy

    My words are not low enough for him. no real father or husband would ever leave his wife and children in harms way. You look like a fool your soon to be wife took a bullet and still managed to save her children, you should hide you face in shame and hope she finds a real man to love and protect her and her children. A baloon is going to pop at your wedding cerimony and you will run away from that too hopefully. And no decent parents take small children to see adult movies late a night, just pathetic. Wah your hands of this useless lost man who probably had the idea to take babie to a midnight movie in the first place

    August 4, 2012 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. Zach

    WOW. This idiot runs out without his girl and kids, and she decides she going to marry his afterwards??? she must be about as stupid as he is.. wow

    August 4, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. LAB

    Let me see if I have this right. JAMIE.... you took a 4 month old and a 4 year old to a midnight movie. ?? BOTH of these children are yours. Only 1 of these children is Patricia's. And when the chips were down, you fled for your own life, leaving Patricia to (a) get shot and (b) rescue both of YOUR children by herself? While you safely stood outside and prayed they were all OK?
    Do I really have this right?
    Quite frankly... when Patricia found you outside that theater, she should have decked you. But she couldn't because SHE was bleeding AND she was holding onto BOTH of YOUR kids.
    And I'm not buying into the "I did not want my kids to be orphans". You left your kids in there to die, dude. Rather than put them before your own welfare. Think about it. Grow up. Make a committment.

    August 4, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobby

      what you talking about, his prayers were answered, so it worked! if he hadn't have abandoned them how would he have been able to get out where it was safe and do some hard prayin?

      August 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Actually, one correction to your summary: the older child was born to Ms. Legarreta and NOT to Mr. Rohr – but quite frankly, that doesn't diminish your point. He refers to both of them as "my kids," as he should. Any true parent's natural instinct is to grab their kids and hold tight in a dangerous situation. This man, according to the article, "lost" his four-month-old son in the darkness and chaos. Really??? I can totally understand if he held his fiancee or an older child by the hand or arm, that they might get pulled apart amid the crowds – but we're talking about an infant. An infant he had to have been holding on to in the first place. How in the world could he lose him? Only one way – he had to let go. Mom's instinct's obviously were a lot stronger – she managed to come out of there with both her kids despite being injured. I wish her instincts for their well-being, and her own, had been stronger when the man proposed.

      August 9, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. Nev

    Four other men died in that theater covering their girlfriends... this man bailed on his girlfriend AND children. Coward.

    August 7, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  13. Angie

    He put his life before his kids and his woman. Who in their right mind would marry someone who would not put their own life before their kids' lives. Look past the feeling of how you almost lost the man you love, no matter how hard that is, and see what he chose. His life before yours and before his childrens. You put your children first and got them out. Put them first again and see that they deserve someone that would die for them.

    August 7, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  14. Siobhan

    Not one of us can say what we would do in that horrific situation. You just have no way of knowing until you're in it. However, I can say with full confidence that I sure as hell wouldn't marry the man who abandoned our 4 month old son to save himself!!!

    August 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bobby

    Now there is a winning couple!

    August 7, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
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