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. Tony R.

    Left his kid in the theatre??????????? Someone punch him dead in the face please. I would NEVER leave without my kids!!!

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

      Even under the extreme situation, I would like to hear his explanation as to how he lost track of the four-month old.

      July 20, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bhs

    people who should be sterilized...have their children taken away...can you believe the poor judgement?

    July 20, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jason C.

    Jamie Rohrs is a coward. Leaving your fiancée - the modern buzzword for baby momma - and two helpless children behind in a theater because you wanted save your own neck instead? Pathetic. Turn in your man card, Jamie.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • radiowidow

      You have summed up the sentiments of everyone reading this story. Thank you!

      July 20, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Casey

    My kids are 12 and 9.....and I am only just now starting to allow the 9 yr old to watch a "few" PG13 movies. And none of them are at midnight.....they are both sleeping at that time. On another note, kudos to the mom for being the "real parent" when facing danger. What a loser he is.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brownie

      I won't judge them for going out late at night with their kids during the summer. But the man leaving his woman and children behind to save his skin? What a coward!!!

      July 20, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. True Father

    So he didn't want to search for his son out of fear of dying and having his son grow up as an orphan? I would rather die saving my son's life and have him know without question that I love him than to live and have him know that his father is a coward.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. merk

    Worthless excuse for a human being. Please tell me she doesn't buy this. I would be too horrified, humiliated and angry to even sit next to him...forget marrying him. I acutally hate this guy more than I hate the shooter.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. LaJoy

    @Bob you don't know what the shooter was capable of. People are crazy. They WILL shoot children. Some people just don't care. No matter what, I would risk my life trying to save my children. Not run off somewhere and hope they make it out alive. This guy sure did panic...his true colors were shown. He pulled a coward act and he's making up excuses now as to why he left his family behind. And how could you say there are more children and girls out there? They were HIS CHILDREN! Omg.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jennifer

    Fully agree, nicely said.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. granny

    PLEASE promise the world that you won't reproduce anymore! Stupid is as stupid does.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. gte

    But notice how no one will question their "right" to have children?

    July 20, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Julie


    July 20, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sarah

    Seriously? Someone please explain to me why, once he was safe and sound out of the theater, he decided to DRIVE AWAY without his fiance and two babies? Really?

    July 20, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. blackdynamiteonline

    Bringing your baby to midnight movie theatres? Then leaving them in the theatre?
    Stupid people are outproducing smart people at a STAGGERING PACE!

    Come on, CNN! Get on THAT story!!

    July 20, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • granny

      I couldn't agree more. But then the focus isn't on those capable of raising children but instead on the fact that we need more children.

      July 20, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Marcia M

    Am totally surprised she said yes to marriage after he fled the bullets and left her to save the kids. What kind of man is that?

    July 20, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jaime L

      thank you! My sentiments.

      July 20, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • RC

      They were separated during the chaos of a man spraying a crowd of hundreds of people with bullets and shooting 70 people. I can't believe people are responding like they know exactly what they would do. You guys have no idea what happened. You are responding as outsiders that were not there. Ridiculous!

      July 20, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. larryb

    reading this story I think the father is too young for the movies...and certainly too young for parenting...but they will be on easy street thanks to NRA supporters

    July 20, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
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