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. K

    Great parenting, Dad. I would not have hesitated to find my children before I left that theatre!

    July 23, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. TruthTeller

    Child Protective Services should check out these two so-called "parents" before anything else happens. Who takes such young kids to a move at the time of night/early morning expect irresponsible, selfish parents.

    July 23, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. bg mcqueen

    why would you marry someone who leaves his child behind to save his own skin? i have no use for this pitiful excuse for a human being

    July 23, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      I would have to agree. I would never marry someone who bailed on me and my two children in the middle of something like that. What an awful man/husband/father!!!

      July 23, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • smiltne

      I agree! What a loser!

      July 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Krystal

      OMG – Really.. You are going to marry the man that already just proved he would not take a bullet for you OR his children – disgusting!

      July 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jan

    I am glad they are finally marrying but having two children together wasn't enough to get him to propose marraige?. What is more beautiful than producing a child together? It took getting shot at and almost losing them to get this to happen?

    July 23, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • angel

      i believe that both kids are HIS not THEIRS! not even the 4 month old!!!!

      August 5, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. mitten romney

    I used to work in movie theatres. People brought their babies to the movies. Please stop bringing your babies to the movies. This whole horrible situation aside – bringing a 4 year old to a midnight movie is bad parenting. Bringing a 4 month old to a movie is just rude and annoying. If you cannot afford a baby sitter then don't go. I'm not judging anyone financially, but if you cannot get someone to watch your kid(s) then don't go. I saw Batman this weekend. It isn't a movie for a 4 year old. And no movie is a movie for a 4 month old.

    July 23, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      I agree.
      I went to go see a late night showing of Magic Mike in theatres and a woman was breastfeeding during the movie.
      Some people have no shame, no class, no sense of decency and no consideration of others.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • debbie

      Amen! Couldn't have said it better myself!

      July 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sweetdeez

      I agree with you whole heartedly. The midnight showing of any movie is inappropriate for a 4 month and 4 year old especially batman! It isnt the cartoon version they show on the HUB!

      July 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • iced heart

      I find it funny you compare breastfeeding with having no shame and no class while talking about a movie like magic mike.

      July 23, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ris

    I have read about this couple a few times. The woman suffered a gunshot wound to her leg from shrapnel that hit her after a young gentleman she DID NOT KNOW was helping her get out of the theater. He was shot in the leg ( the gentleman). The gentleman who helped her out was running past to save his own life and saw her on the floor with the two children and came back to try and help. Meanwhile if you read other articles about this couple they are quoted multiple times saying the father just up and ran and left his four month old laying on the ground! WHY would you marry someone who took off and left you AND your two kids laying there? And before people start commenting about "What would you do in that situation?" Etc. There are MULTIPLE stories of dozens of people jumping in front of others, or running back in to help people they didnt even know. So Im not condeming the young man for making such a self centered decision in respect to his childrens lives, but I wouldn't be marrying him! 🙂

    July 23, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Hasher Iva

      Apparently Mr Rohrs is familiar with gun shots in a crowded place. I agree with most of the other sentiments. Why would you marry a guy who abandoned you and the kids during this?

      July 23, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      Ris, I too remember reading about that brave young man that helped her get out safely. I'm with you, there's no way I'd be marry this selfish loser.

      I wonder if he even thanked the young man that saved his family when he was too big of a coward to do it?

      July 23, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. molly11180

    Parents of the year. Every parent I know wouldn't leave that theater unless they personally saw each and every one of their offspring exit to safety. I'm 32, and god forbid, if I were shot, my mother wouldn't leave my body in there even if I were obviously dead. Why do we let people like this marry and continue to reproduce, but we deny gay couples the right to legally marry? I'd gladly contribute to a fund to make this man get a vasectomy, he's a waste of oxygen.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. Grant23

    The father saying that he wouldn't want to live if his children were dead is clearly a lie. Otherwise, he would have tried to save them (I know they are alive, but he didn't at the time) – even at the risk of getting killed. And I thought they were sucky parents for taking their kids to the movies at midnight..... That was nothing compared to his cowardice.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joan M

    1. Inconsiderate parenting to bring two small children to a midnight movie. They call it mid night because IT IS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!!
    2. He is blithering almost whiney because on second thought, after running out, he realizes hes a coward.
    3. Is that the best she can get? Who would marry a man who ran out to save his own skin and left babies and her behind???
    4. They should be embarassed not looking for 15 mins of fame or is it SHAME!

    July 23, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. Stephanie

    This guy's a real prize winner. I'd love to see a story on the brave young man who risked his life to save this mom and her two kids.
    and Piers.... I have officially lost all respect for you. Shame on you for promoting this 'man' who would ditch his girlfriend and two children to save his own a$$.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Metalskies

    I could never, NEVER, leave my child behind no matter what. I would never live with myself knowing I was selfish enough to save my own live before that of my children. This shocked me, and yes I know I wasn't there, I know I have no idea what it was like, but I KNOW I wouldn't ever leave my child behind. I would take as many bullets as necessary if it kept her alive.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. christiana

    why is this news? who cares if they are getting married? though, I'd have to agree that I would never be able to marry a man who left me and two children behind like that.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jessica

    So he just leaves his children and now fiance in the theatre to fend for themselves??? How disgusting! He shouldn't be doing interviews.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Foomagoo

    What a loser! This guy has no right being a parent. I would have died before leaving without my kids and wife.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Nora_V

    My jaw literally dropped while reading this. He left his 4-month-old baby in the theater, his 4-year-old, his girlfriend...unbelievable. I just heard today the story of the two teenage girls in the theater, one of whom got shot, and the other stayed with her the entire time, applying pressure to her wound. This "man" could learn something from them.

    July 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
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