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. Philip

    lmao. You folks have turned this disaster into a freaking soap opera.

    July 21, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. RealTVCritics

    These two should marry immediately. Without any delay. Two morons that take young kids to a midnight movie should be together forever so that they don't get lucky and marry anyone out there with an ounce of common sense or judgement.

    Parents are supposed to exercise some sort of reason but these two simplyshould have childrens services on their rears. These two people should lose their kids for this.

    July 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      I would agree with you for the most part. there are two problems I do have with your solution; 1) Those children will be susceptible to the child raypist who lurks as a potential adoptive parent and or foster parent. 2) SS practically throws the child out on the streets the day after their 18th; so much for SS and their parenting skills!

      July 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • maureen

      they should get married at another midnight movie

      July 21, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    I saw this interview, and I was less than impressed with Daddy...and I don't buy for a minute that the little boy had any input into the descision-making process that led to this family being at the midnight movie.
    IMO, dad is a coward, running away as he did, and both kids are lucky to be alive...no thanks to their parents.
    Parents of the year, they would *not* make.

    July 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I have to wonder at the timing of the "proposal"...is that supposed to make up for his cut and run routine when this horrendous tragedy occurred?

      July 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jade

      No thanks to the DAD. The mom got both kids out of there alive, despite being shot in the leg.

      July 21, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • bob

      *dad of the year

      July 22, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. a

    I'm so glad that the family is okay, but the baby and the 4-yr old never ever should have been there to begin with. Patricia said the 4 yr old was excited about the movie. the little girl was asleep halfway in her lap. those movies are way too loud for kids that age, esp. a tiny baby. if you don't have a sitter, don't go to loud, violent, scary movies with kids that young. it's common sense... ugh. then for this Rohrs fellow.. lost the baby in the chaos, which I'm sure it was terrifying, I can't imagine. but at all times you protect your baby. with your life, if you must. ugh....

    July 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      What I do not understand is why parents would HAVE to take their children to a midnight movie in the first place, when the movie opened the next day anyway...

      July 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jay jay

    Yowzerz! That woman is smokin hot!!!

    July 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      As her friend, I'm glad she has the good sense to avoid the shallow internet trolls like yourself.

      July 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shelle

      I wouldn't call marrying the man who abandoned her and their children having "good sense."

      July 25, 2012 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
    • jlv

      As her friend maybe you should have baby sat their kids while they went and risked their necks at the midnight matinee, instead of letting them almost get their kids killed. And as their friend maybe you should have talked them out of taking their kids to a midnight show, no matter how much their kids love batman. And as her friend maybe you should have counseled her not to marry a guy who will abandon them when the going gets tough, and be too scared to go back and find them. Gee I guess you aren't much of a friend after all, oh well.

      July 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff Loudon

      Let's see...they bring a 4 year old and a 4 month old to a midnight showing of a loud, violent movie. Shooting breaks out so the father runs for his life, abandoning the kids and girlfriend he supposedly cares so much for. He proposes to her in the hospital and she stupidly says yes. CNN decides to keep putting them in the spotlight to encourage this kind of senseless behavior from other people who shouldn't breed. Do I have everything?

      July 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • stacyintexas

      Apparently it took being in the national spotlight to get this loser to "put a ring on it" since fathering two kids with the ahem lucky lady didn't inspire him to grow up and be responsible otherwise. I would love to be a fly on the wall when mom recounts the romantic events surrounding daddy's "proposal". Hilarity ensues.

      August 13, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • kaci

      you should let your know she is a idiot for wanting to marry someone that would leave his kids to die. That just shows how bad of a father he is and how much of a idiot and bad mother she is. I still trying to wrap my head around the fact that they went on every news station to tell them their story,which by the way did they understand that their story makes them look bad

      July 26, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • srjsac

      Agree

      July 31, 2012 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
    • ashleym512

      Aaron, then as her friend, point out to her that he left her and the kids to die. Neither she nor the babies deserve someone who would choose to leave them in a situation like that.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Angela

      It's not her. If she wanted to take her family to a late movie, so be it. But I guarantee she could do better than a guy who would abandon her and their kids. While he was running scared, she got her children out of there and took a bullet in the process. He's trash.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ruth C

      truth hurts right

      August 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      If you were truly her friend, you would tell her to run from this coward.

      August 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Col. Jessup

      Really? More crack at work.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. bramrok

    my heart goes out to all the victims. the story this father told does not make sense. he stated he thought the baby's crying would attract the attention of the shooter. He believes he put him down. He then jumped over the balcony and ran away because according to him if he dies the children might be orphans, and he worried the child might not survive the jump?abandoning a child is a cowardly act and it goes against all normal parental instincts. how could he abandon two young kids and his girlfriend and then want attention drawn to his pathetic story on tv?

    July 21, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JulieB

    you think maybe he proposed so that he'd guarantee getting any money at all that might be gained from any kind of a lawsuit?

    July 21, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. disgusted

    this is what (not who) breeds in america. hillbilly sissy. i'm sure once he got the all clear he gathered himself and realized he doesn't have a valid ops and so babies' mom, savior of the kids, had to climb in the driver's seat per usual and chauffeur his unemployed loserness home. sissy.

    July 21, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. RNC

    In most cases a four month old is not going to die from going to a midnight movie with her parents. At most, I can see the parents not enjoying the film because the baby could cry throughout the movie. Best idea in he world? No. Still, not the kind of decision-making that should result in them losing their children or have the label of "bad parent". People really need to lighten-up.

    The dad, however, gets no respect from me for leaving his wife and kids in the theater. I'm just glad that they made it out ok despite his cowardice. They were very lucky.

    My prayers go out to all those effected by this senseless tragedy.

    July 22, 2012 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. Cy

    Why is there no mention of the 19 year old that DID help her and her two small children make it out of that theater? He was shot in the process and STILL got them to safety. Her "fiance" should be ashamed that he DIDN'T help his family.

    July 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • angrybabykitty

      I wish they would have mentioned that guy too. He was a hero. Go over to thestir dot com and you can see a blog writer making excuses for the fiance. Made me mad to read it.

      July 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      Luckilly most people blogging on here were not in the sitation. When chaos happens there is no telling what you would do. He reacted on impulse, reaction. I am sure he would have done it different if he could. The judging from others bothers me so much! If you werent in the situation you have no right to judge.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. myalias23

    are they serious? You want to marry the man who leaves his kids and you in the theater and saves himself? Are you kidding me? He hopes they wouldn't kill a 4 month old? What in the heck is that mom thinking??? She stays with the kids and gets a bullet wound from saving her kids. He's outside hoping they make it out somehow, after all he made it so ya never know. There is someway way wrong with that woman!

    July 22, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tom Hagen

    MAYBE I don't have enough info about what happened...DO i HAVE IT RIGHT...that MOM, "dad", and little kids are all together...and "dad" runs out of the theater...NOW "dad" talks...WHAT THE F....IF I HAVE IT RIGHT...this dude should crawl under a rock...and hide...because as a DAD you don't live your little kids in TERROR!

    July 22, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tom Hagen

    that DENVER TEAM SHOULD DEMAND that he remove the teams stuff

    July 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Hannah

    Yes, it infuriates me that children are at this late showing to begin with. It's not just a poor parenting issue. Theaters also need to turn children away between certain hours. Policies like this are helpful in society because there are a lot of bad parents...We can't control who breeds.

    July 23, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. Kevin Nivek

    This guy is a complete coward. I hope that no one ever breaks into their home – he'll use the wife and kids as human shields before he goes down. What a loser.

    July 23, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
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