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. Hiho Remy

    Only idiots would A: take a 4 year old to a violent movie that late B: take a 4 MONTH old to a LOUD violent movie AT ALL C: leave a 4 month old, 4 year old and his lady friend in such a cowardly fashion, D would accept a marriage proposal from a man who ran off and left both kids and his lady friend in danger D: propose to an idiot who would bring her 2 young children to a loud and violent late night movie.

    August 9, 2012 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. OnlyNEWs

    Real dumb! They have 2 kids together and still it didn't occur that they should get married???? Only after Batman shooting, he realizes this! CNN should stop reporting such stories!

    August 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. zb

    I have very little faith in people, due to the fact that things like this make the news.

    I then read the first page of comments, the majority of which mention that the guy lands his girl after abandoning his family to their deaths.

    Yeah dude, you prayed.

    This really isn't a "had you been there, you'd have done the same" type of scenario.

    It's a "immediately after you left your family to die you popped the question.. and then made the news for it" type of scenario.

    And it almost made me happy.

    August 11, 2012 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. nyk

    How do you "lose" your 4 month old?? Abandoned his GF AND KIDS??? To save HIMSELF?? If the man won't stand by you to protect you and your family when something like THIS happens, but instead, leaves you behind to protect them yourself? Well, honey, don't expect it to get any better. There is no way I'd marry him, he's a coward of the worst kind.

    August 13, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • KansasGal2012

      My thoughts exactly! He left the theatre to save himself and didn't help his girlfriend or kids out of that dangerous situation. Clearly a man that cares more about himself than his loved ones. Selfish!

      August 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Are you serious?!

      Hence the proposal. He's REALLY hoping she forgets he ran like a coward. I hope she puts his balls in a vice. The guy looks like a tool – she could do better...

      August 14, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike in Denver

      Yeah, because those men who stayed and protected their girlfriends sure are talking up a storm now, aren't they?

      August 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jamedsic

    Holy cow!! Wake up and smell the coffee, love!! He left you and your small (very small) children. Who wants to marry a COWARD? A couple should have each other's backs, not skip out and think "Hope they don't get shot"....

    August 14, 2012 at 5:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike in Denver

      One might say she abandoned him while running away with her kids. They deserve each other.

      August 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. haeimers

    It's complete IDIOTS like this woman who give women a bad name!! You are a moron for ever even choosing a man like this to father children! May you forever be embarrassed and ashamed for allowing him to get away with what he did to your children!! I would LITERALLY take a million bullets for my children in a heartbeat! I would pay watch even just one reporter rip this guy a new one on national television.

    August 14, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dq

    Why is this news? Are we supposed to feel happy for a woman that's marrying a guy that abandoned her and her kids to save his own ass?

    August 15, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  8. dq

    Please tell me how do you lose a baby and How in the world does a parent decide to leave behind his kid and start praying? Are you kidding me? And what is wrong with the woman for saying Yes?
    CNN please stop writing about these articles, it is not News and it is not Good!

    August 15, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  9. Prescreening

    Your 4-year old loves Batman, so you take her to the Dark Knight??? She loves the cartoon batman she sees on TV, where there's never any real danger and everything is so unrealistic she knows it cant' really happen. You take her into the Christopher Nolan gritty reality of Gotham City and your child would have nightmares without the horror of what happened that night. Parents, don't be idiots and give in to your kids' every desire. My niece wants to drive, but I'm not going to give a 10 year old my Honda.

    August 15, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. spo

    This is pathetic. I don't know which is worse. the dim wit that ditched his kids and then wants to propose or the one that is willing to marry a man that left her and the kids. Well can't expect much from a pair that takes their infant and toddler to a midnight show.

    August 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. M.E.

    Gee, what a great parent! Lose your 4 year old and decide not to go back and search for them. Well, I hardly expect more from Aurora. It may look pleasant for the media, but all Denverites know it's certainly not a desirable suburb.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. celietz

    Hey, give this young couple a break! Do you know how hard it is being, young, with two kids especially in a new town? I mean the way some people are acting it's like this couple had taken their kids to a tavern at 2:00 AM. My 9 year old and 13 year old daughter both love Batman and I have also taken them to midnight showings for movies they really wanted to see. Is that wrong? I mean I care about my kids and a midnight movie is not going to hurt anyone, unless some whack job brings an Uzi, but then that could happen almost any where.

    August 15, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      YES. It is wrong. Stop being selfish. Your kids should be in bed at midnight. BUT hey, what do you expect from the typ eof person who ditches the mother of his children and two small kids while they are being SHOT AT. WHY ON EARTH DID SHE SAY YES??? The proposal was so you didn't notice he is A COWARD!!! Why do you think he never asked before. THIS IS NOT A REAL MAN. And, Mike in Denver (who may be this man under cover), YOU WUSS, she didn't leave him, she STAYED with THEIR CHILDREN. HARDLY COMPARABLE, OH, and SHE TOOK A BULLET, FOR THEIR CHILDREN (you know BOTH of their CHILDREN). Worst form of life he is.

      August 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. pgcounty

    Actually, after all is said and done, these two probably deserve each other. It's indicative by all accounts, this is a woman with no confidence in herself at all. She justifies her existence as needing someone, no matter who that someone is, as long as he accepts her with her faults. How else would you justify a relationship such as this one. She know he left her and th children. She knows he is a coward. Yet, she comes on National Television and condone his proposal. By every sense of the imagination, it is not for wealth. Good luck. Your children will grow up to be as incompetent and ignorant as the parents are. I owe them no duty.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Abby

    What a loser! My husband and myself would die before we would see our young son harmed in a tragic and horrifying situation such as this was. My husband has actually sheilded us with his body in a scary situation we had AND IT CAME NATURALLY TO HIM to protect his wife and child from harm. What is wrong with this idiot that his instinct was to run, leaving his girlfriend to get his two babies out by herself? Pathetic Coward. Your babies should have been at home in their beds at midnight, you dont deserve to be parents. Watch, these two will probably pop out a couple more kids before its said and done. Pathetic. Makes me sick.

    August 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dana

    Wow. He left the theater without his kid and the girlfriend... Niiice manly move. Congrats to teh girlfriend /sarcasm

    August 17, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
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