HOUSTON -- As one of the year’s biggest movies became one of the year’s biggest tragedies, a mother of two ducked for cover.
“All I could think was if I stand up, he’s going to shoot,” 24-year-old Patricia Legarreta said. “And I was just trying to think of how I was going to get my kids out of there.”
Instinct set in and she dropped 5-year-old Azariah and 3-month-old Ethan to the floor.
“I just remember thinking ‘I’m not going to die in here,’” she said, “Me and my kids are not going to die in here.”
Her boyfriend, Jamie Rohrs, will never forget what happened next.
“She got shot, she got shot,” he said, fighting back tears.
Though Legarreta had been shot twice in the leg, she acted quickly in ushering her family through the back of the theater to safety.
“I didn’t look behind me, I just got out,” she said. “And there was a moment when my daughter was trampled on—and I was dragging her thinking ‘you just got to get out the doors.’”
More than 1,000 miles away near the Willowbrook area of Houston, Texas, her sister Margaret heard the harrowing account over the phone Friday morning.
“I’m just thinking the worst,” she told KHOU 11 News. “My husband tells me to think positive and I can’t.”
But after a long and emotional conversation with her sister, the feelings of fear and helplessness ultimately softened into gratitude.
“I thank God,” she said, “But at the same time I feel really bad for those other families.”
Margaret told KHOU 11 News that she was booking a flight to see her sister in Colorado. She also said her sister and Rohrs are now engaged.