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. Melissa

    FYI, members of their family and friends have been trolling the news sites, blogs, and other online communities vigorously defending him and reporting any post or poster that says anything they can get to qualify as offensive. You can recognize them by their RABID defense and their quickness to tell you to stop judging him in the middle of his tragedy. One told me on another news site that I was horrible, should be terribly ashamed, and that my comments were unnecessary, and that I had no right to judge. They then proceeded to tell me that I was no better or worse than the shooter....Um, what? I was flabbergasted.

    July 21, 2012 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • SMH

      I figured that was happening here. Family members defending them. They need to stay off the tv with his pathetic self. And their parenting skills are lacking.

      July 21, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sue

    This makes me sad. As if such a horrific event wasn't bad enough, then reading about a father leaving his two babies and the media for highlighting it and giving them the attention they don't need. Why not do an article on the 19 yr old that stopped to help this mother! What is wrong with the world?

    July 21, 2012 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  3. Melissa

    Rather than making the talk circuit, perhaps they should be at home comforting their 4 year old who is most likely severely traumatized. He needs to be sterilized. I commend her for grabbing her baby after he LEFT IT beside the stairs and for not giving up and getting her kids out while injured. However, if she is going to marry a man who has made it completely obvious that he has no thought of protecting or taking care of his children, then the children need to be with someone else for their own safety. And isn't it convenient that he "pops the question" just in time for the media firestorm.
    My heart is broken for the victims, family, friends, and survivors, but the media needs to drop these two like a bad penny.

    July 21, 2012 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. Nick

    This was a tragic and senseless act of violence and I pray for all the victims and families involved. Concerning Mr. Rohrs, I read elsewhere that not only did he place his child on the floor and leave the theatre; he got into his car and left altogether only to return to the scene once his now-Fiancé called from someone else's cellphone. I have never been involved in such a horrific and chaotic incident, but as other have said his actions seem cowardly. Thank God for the brave mother, who while wounded by a bullet managed to saved her two children.

    July 21, 2012 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
    • a

      exactly. I read it too. where he said the 4-month old baby was crying and scared and was bringing attention to them and he was trying to quiet the child. so he sat the baby down and didn't know what to do. then he ended up outside and the the children and Patricia were left to fend for themselves. coward doesn't even describe it....

      July 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mish

    What an absolute COWARD... he should hide his face forever, can't even believe this is a story.

    July 21, 2012 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. Carin

    ""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."

    Uhh, I can see why she would think he *must* have been killed because that is the ONLY ACCEPTABLE EXCUSE for leaving a defenseless BABY on the FLOOR.

    Leaving the baby and running like a coward is NOT an excuse and should be a HUGE wake up call to dump that loser.

    Get a dog. A dog will protect his own rather than that sorry excuse for a human being.

    I hope that the only reason she accepted his proposal is shock from the whole ordeal. I hope her family talks some sense into her and she cuts ties with him.

    July 21, 2012 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. Vince

    Far too many of you people are just terrible human beings. First off your judgement in this situation is bad enough, but then trying to parent the world is another thing all together. Why is it so important that the movie is rated PG-13? Certainly I have my concerns about taking my 4 year old to see this movie and I probably won't. However, we went to see "The Avengers" which was rated PG-13 and contained nothing that I found objectionable. As a teacher myself, I find that there are far worse parenting choices than spending time with your kids. Worrying about bed times and watching PG-13 movies is silly in the grand scheme of things.

    July 21, 2012 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Southern mom

      This is more of a discussion about how this so called man left his wife and children in the theater while he ran away. I think that is a far more important topic than what you have brought forth.

      July 21, 2012 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Southern mom

      Correction :

      His girlfriend and kids.

      July 21, 2012 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Denisse

      Just because we disagree with you doesn't make us terrible people. Now who is being judgmental?

      July 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. carolyn

    Patricia should be marrying the black guy that helped to save her and her two kids. What a hero! Stopping to shield them all, then following them to make sure they got out ok, and getting shot in the process. I would fall head over heels in love if someone did that for me.

    July 21, 2012 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. Wow

    He should of never did this interveiw!! There is no way one of his option's should of been to leave my helpless 4 month old baby behind. How do you lose track of a baby that can't even walk? All I can say is ...She is a true mother. Even throught the smoke she was able to find the child and get both children to safty. That's the real story! Not him. But how was she able to find the baby after he MISPLACED him??

    July 21, 2012 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dalisa potter

    I can't believe pierce would be so stupid as to take this moment for gun control. Are you an idiot or what? Criminals don't obey laws. Montana, Wyoming and Idaho have the lowest crime rate and the least restrictive gun laws. Imagine that. I guess the criminal doesn't want to take a chance that the victim just might be able to shoot back. Look at washington DC. It had a band on guns and the crime rate was one of the highest in the nation. They lightened up on the gun laws and the crime rate dropped. People need to be able to defend themselves. You idiots have no brain. A deterrent to a criminal is the fear that someone may be able to fight back. Why do you think kids and women are the most victimized? Because the criminal views them as the most vulnerable. If people have guns and know how to use them the coward criminals wouldn't be quite so bold. Wake up people. Pierce. Go back to your country. You suck!!

    July 21, 2012 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  11. Kaazh

    I would give my life for children and grandchildren. These 2 got their few minutes of fame. Why were they pick for an interview? Why not the injured or the families of the ones who were lost? Was it the marriage proposal, that got the media people interested? I say, any person who was not self involved, selfish, etc. would have stay and protected their family, even if it meant they would lose their life. I guess we know who has and is going to have the balls in this union. There will come a time when she will think about this and wonder what the heck she was thinking to marry this guy. Well that is my opinion. I am praying for the families who have lost loved ones and the injured. God Bless you all, May the Lord comfort and heal you at this time.

    July 21, 2012 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. Graceful76

    I am relieved to see so many comments that parralel my thoughts and complete disgust at this couple. They are terrible actors, but I won't be surprised by the pity (=money) they will receive to finance this wedding. There are an increasing number of mindless human beings in this country. A wedding surely to end in divorce shortly thereafter, may I add.

    July 21, 2012 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  13. steve

    What the heck were these two idiots doing with a baby and small child at midnight movie anyway! the psycho was pure evil ......pure evil.

    July 21, 2012 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. Rascal Rabble

    you age discriminating fools babies can go to the movies...

    July 21, 2012 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. Nephew

    Dude looks like Steve Young

    July 21, 2012 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
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