AURORA, CO—The mass shooting at a movie theatre in Colorado has left a woman with strong ties to Houston feeling blessed to be alive after a man she never met shielded her and her two children with his own.
"I feel fortunate and very lucky," said Patricia Legarreta, a recent newcomer to Aurora who was inside the Dark Knight premiere when the gunfire erupted.
"I just remember being on the ground and having my kids there. I think at that point we realized that if you get up, you get shot," she said.
Legarreta said that at some point a man she had never even met used his body to protect hers. And then there was a break in the gunfire which offered them a chance to flee.
"I figured something must be going on so I’d better get up and run. I didn’t look back. I just continued to look forward," said Legarreta.
She managed to get to safety along with her children, who were uninjured. Legarretta received shrapnel to the leg. The man who helped them was shot in the leg, but survived.
Later, she greeted her sister, who flew in from Houston after learning of the shooting, at the airport.
"She’s here and she’s next to me," said Margaret Fussell. "It just feels good to know I still have my sister."
But Legarreta remains saddened that so many other people never made it out alive.
"That’s the hardest part for me."