Aurora Century 16 theater shooting survivors Jamie Rohrs and Patricia Legaretta narrowly escaped the movie massacre with their lives and credit a last minute decision to sit in the balcony of theater No. 9 with their ability to escape the alleged shooting rampage of James Holmes. Although he did not have a ring in his pocket, Rohrs found he could wait no longer to ask Legaretta to be his wife and proposed in the hospital emergency room.
Rohrs and Legaretta had looked forward to attending the “Batman Dark Knight Rises” midnight premiere with her 4-year-old daughter, Azariah and their 4-month-old son, Ethan, The New York Daily News reports.
Patricia Legaretta and Jamie Rohrs became separated during the Colorado shooting, but eventually reunited with on another outside the Century 16 multiplex. Patricia Legarreta was hospitalized after the movie theater shooting with a shrapnel wound to her leg. Within hours of “dodging death” Jamie Rohrs dropped down to one knee and proposed to Patricia in her hospital room.
“He just looked at me and he said, ‘I know this is not the time and place but will you marry me. And I said, ‘Yes,” Legarreta stated during an interview with CNN.
The couple, both 25, had gotten to the theater late and had a difficult time finding seats. Patricia and Jamie considered grabbing a few spots in the front of the theater by the movie screen, but instead opted for the last several seats in the balcony. Legaretta and Rohrs figured their little ones would sleep through the movie, and perhaps the quieter spot away from the loudest speakers and bright screen lights were more conducive to such efforts.
Rohr stated during an ABC News interview that James Holmes, the alleged gunman, began shooting right where they had initially planned to sit. “God was definitely with us and watching over us. I just thank God we sat where we did and showed up late,” Rohrs recalls.
Patricia Legaretta noted during an interview on NBC’s “Dateline” that she heard her boyfriend yell, “Get Down” and she grabbed her sleeping daughter and “threw” her onto the ground into safety. Rohrs also put Ethan on the movie theater floor so he would be better protected, but “lost track of him” in the pandemonium that followed as the shooting continued. Patricia Legaretta was knocked to the ground when shrapnel bit into her leg, she landed near little Ethan and “scooped him up.”
“It just felt like the worst thing ever because my son’s still in there. My girlfriend is still in there. I’m out here. Who leaves their child there,” Jamie Rohrs stated during the ABC interview. “It just smacked me in the face. I realized, ‘Yes, this is the one. And how she took such good care of our children. Just got ’em out safe. I’m so thankful for her,” Rohrs noted when discussing his spontaneous proposal to Patricia Legarreta at the hospital.