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. Dolly B.

    Not one tear... all that voice cracking and not one tear! Sounds more like he was trying to do damage control with this interview because his first interview he said nothing about her daughter and he said he was afraid the gunman would find and kill him due to the baby crying so he chose to leave him on the floor. Who does that?! "Oh I dont want to live without them!" Then why did you ditch them AND leave in the car?! What a coward and definitely NOT father OR husband material!

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

      Exactly, Dolly B. - couldn't have expressed it better! This guy is definitely not one to depend on. She should dump him.

      July 20, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. eddie

    WHAT? He decided to leave his kids? Wow!

    July 20, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MaryAnn

    Why in the hell was a four month old and four year old taken to a midnight screening of any film?Now these two are all over the tv doing interviews to let everyone know just how bad and pathetic their so called parenting skills are.He is a low life for bailing on the kids and she is just as pathetic for taking them there at that hour.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Vidhya

    Why is she marrying him after this? Why is he crying? He ran away from his family... She is the real hero and a true parent! My husband would give his life to protect even our puppy... This moron couldn't stay to save his kids??? I guess Piers Morgan really can spot 'talent' after all!!!

    July 20, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Leo

    I would never leave my family in there alone. Never. You find those kids and protect them. Don't run off like a coward and leave it up to your future ex-wife. This should be a sign of things to come from him. Good luck with that.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeralan

    What a freakin' loser!

    July 20, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bhs

    These people should have their child taken away from them for taking it into an extremely loud movie theater at midnight at its age. What kind of people do such a thing. they should be charged with endangering a child.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah Conner

      What kind you ask? Its Hispanics every freaking time!

      July 20, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bad choices

    She should have sent him back in to be #13. Great, another family we'll all be supporting.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. TODAY

    They do not look smart

    July 20, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mike

    As the father of a 3 year old I don't think I could just leave him in there and hope for the best. I've never been in that situation and hope i never am so I don't want to pass judgement but i can't imagine doing that. To Mich the movie is PG-13 not NC-17. As long as "parent" is with them they can enter. NC-17 is the only rating children under 17 are not allowed.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • bad choices

      You are correct, but a ratings board, strangers, feel that the movie is inappropriate for children under 13. Obviously, these parents who have made some great choices in their lives know better.

      July 20, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sarah Conner

    Why is it ALWAYS hispanic women who think it is OK to bring their babies to the movie theater? These same women are always the ones who refuse to take the baby to the lobby when they start screaming. White women don't go to midnight movies unless we have a sitter

    July 20, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • snowball

      Sarah Conner, Your racism makes you pretty low as well!

      July 21, 2012 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
    • mrselliott

      Wow, racist much?

      July 24, 2012 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
    • cinna2011

      Sarah Conner, you're idiot. But of course you already knew that, being that you're a lonely little troll who came in to stir the pot. Go take a nap.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. SL

    The true hero was the 19 year old who stopped to help this mother and two kids!! True character comes out in moments like these. And then she accepts his marriage proposal... unbelievable.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • OK

      Making the decision to get married so early after traumatic experience is highly irrational. Marrying this loser? Irresponsible and pathetic. Think about your kids in the long run.

      July 20, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. 123

    a four year old and 4 month old..being brought to a Batman movie after midnight......some people should not be allowed to breed

    July 20, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Shame on you mom

    Sadden about today’s events. God bless all the family’s, but what makes me mad as a mother, how in the hell do you bring a 3 month old baby and a 4 year old to a midnight showing. The words that I want to call these parents. This movie was that important… Shame on you mom.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • sybaris

      And you are who?

      Oh right, the self appointed judge of all mothers.

      July 20, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • fishcake21

      You should've judge... but i somewhat agree, its a pg-13 movie and its midnight, showcasing on violence...

      July 20, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • ohgran

      sybaris – Good parenting skills are all one needs to make a decision NOT to have young children at the movies at midnight! Those skills are obviously lacking with this couple. And he certainly has shown that he also lacks the proper skills to protect his "family" from harm by putting them BEFORE his own life.

      July 20, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mom

    I don't know why they chose to profile the father in this situation. God knows what we all would do when faced with our own death. But the details of this story clearly illustrate the power and selflessness of a mother's love. A poor decision on the mom's part to bring her kids to Batman? Yes. Her decision to save her children's lives without thinking of her own? That is a mom.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
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