Father Who Left Family in 'Dark Knight' Theater Shouldn't Be Blamed (VIDEO)

Rant 199

By now we've all read about the young Aurora, Colorado couple who had just moved to town and made the fateful decision to take their two young children to the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. Many have gotten in their judgy comments about  whether two young children should have been in the theater that night. And now the father, Jamie Rohrs, is getting a drubbing for leaving his family in the theater as he escaped and ended up driving away from the carnage, only coming back once his girlfriend, Patricia Legarreta, called him. Commenters are even telling Patricia to leave the father of her children, saying he will never be there to protect her. Of all the judgmental nonsense people can spout, this is certainly some of the most ignorant.

When the shooting started, Jamie Rohrs yelled to his girlfriend, Patricia, to get on the ground. He then says he threw Patricia's daughter, 4-year-old Azeria, to the floor. He assumed his fiancee had their son, 4-month-old Ethan. At this point, the two got separated. The theater was absolute madness of people crushing over each other to escape in darkness and also the blinding and suffocating tear gas or some other chemical. Said Rohrs:

People are running all over. I'm tripping and falling. I don't know if I laid [Ethan] down or sat him down. I'm wondering maybe there's more of them. [I'm thinking] 'He's crying and they're going to come get me.' I look up to see if I can run. I'm ducking, dodging, turning left, turning right. ... Every time you hear a gun shot, it's like 'Oh, I'm dead.' I'm just disoriented after I put him down. 

Here's where people start to get judgy. Why would Rohrs put his son down? A lot of people are assuming he put him down so he could more easily make a run for it. Could it also not be that with bullets flying he thought his son should be closer to the ground?

Now Rohrs got out of the theater. Then he drove away, and came back after Patricia called him. Rohrs himself says: "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?"

At the time, Rohrs was disoriented, panicked, and his body was flooded with adrenaline. This is how it played out. Does it mean he's a bad person or a coward? No. No one knows how they will react in an extreme situation like this until they are in it. And anyone who wants to judge it from the comfort and safety of their own home is being naive, simplistic, and downright cruel.

I just hope that Rohrs doesn't let the question "Who leaves their child there?" haunt him to the extent that he becomes a bad parent and husband (as he and Patricia are now getting married). The couple need to concentrate on healing. The video where Rohrs explains what happened is heartbreaking.

Do you think Rohrs should be judged for the leaving the theater?

Image via CNN

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linzemae linzemae

I agree. We can't judge because we really don't know how we would react in that situation.

nonmember avatar kaerae

It'd be nice to see a story about the young man who did help shield this woman and her kids. There is very little being written about him.

turna... turnandburn04

Judgy? Really? What kind of spineless coward leaves his children and the mother of his children to die? It is obvious he values his own life more than that of his family, which in my opinion makes him more of a sperm donor than a father. If you are any sort of parent at all if you are running you should have child under each arm at the very least. He deserves every ill thought coming his way, what a pitiful man.

nonmember avatar HappyDad

Sorry, he doesn't deserve to be cut any slack. If he had just run out of the theater to not get shot it would be one thing, but he drove off. This says he cares more about his sorry butt than anything else. She really needs to consider whether or not he will be there to protect them if he can. Had he carried the little boy out instead of leaving him behind this would be a whole different story. From one dad to another, he sucks.

Amie Jacklin Clark

I have to disagree. I would never abandon my child or children in a room full of flying bullets. I would be fighting to find them. My husband would never take of the vicinity with two small children if I did escape the theatre carrying one kid and dragging the other out of a bullet riddled movie theater. Yes, he acted on instinct but it says a lot that his instinct wasn't to save his child.

Amie Jacklin Clark

Should read "my husband would never take the car from the vicinity of the theater when that would be my only means of escape with two small children."

Jennifer Ives O'Meara

Amen last two comments! You never know what you will do when faced with a crazy situation like this, but the fact that these 2 morons even brought their babies to the theater at midnite, tells me all I need to know about this coward. Neither of these two deserve our sympathy or concern, they deserve to be held responsilble for their poor parenting, children placed with relatives or foster family with half a brain, and these two forced to attend parenting classes till they get it right.

nonmember avatar TheSimpleTruth

I'm not going to judge the part regarding taking the kids to a late movie - whatever. But I sure as HELL know I would not leave my spouse or KIDS in a situation where bullets are flying. I realize no body knows truly what they would do in a situation until they're in it, but I know in my heart-of-hearts, that I would lay down my life for my kids - I would definitely be on top of them...or trying to escape with them. Hell - even if he couldn't hang on to one of them and got separated - he didn't have to ---- wait for it-- drive away?!?!?!?!?! I mean, WHAT?!?! Truly, this man is a massive coward..possibly one of the worst I've even heard of. Yes, she should leave him - he obviously doesn't care a lick about anybody but himself. I saw them on several talk shows this morning - after they'd been home and "cleaned up" and he still looked like a douche with his stupid ball hat on being interviewed.

ghost... ghostbaby

His punk ass drove away! What kind of man leave his wife and kids gets in the car and leaves? And then to pass the baby off, at least take the child you had in your arms with you. He is an coward and needs to be reminded of his cowardace.

nonmember avatar Elle

I can see putting the baby on the ground, but then he just leaps over the railing and takes off without his girlfriend or their two young kids. Then, he gets in the car??? No. No. A thousand times no. There are a hundred stories of heroism in that theater, including the young man who stayed to help a random stranger who had been shot in the leg get to safety. That young man has been quoted as saying, "I couldn't just leave her." Note to her, THAT'S the kind of man she should be marrying not some jerkwad who takes off when the going gets rough.

CafeMom, I don't understand why this site keeps sticking up for these people. They were dumb enough to take their two small children to a loud, R-rated movie that started after midnight. No consideration for the adults who paid for tickets and were looking forward to some adult time out, I might add. Now, you have the gall to stick up for him when he got in the car and drove away from his family in the melee. What is your deal with him?

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