The city of Aurora, CO saw a hero not in Christian Bale’s portrayal as Batman, but in 19-year-old Jarell Brooks. Brooks is being heralded as a hero after saving Patricia Legarreta and her two young children during a shooting massacre that left 12 people dead and 58 injured.
Brooks rescued the young woman and her 4-month-old baby and 4-year-old daughter after 24-year-old James Holmes opened fire inside the Colorado theatre.
“I can remember seeing them on the floor and she had her son in her arm and youngest daughter held to her left arm,” Brooks said. “I was trying to guide her out and I was like ‘we gotta go.’”
Brooks said his first “initial reaction was to guide them to the door.” Brooks was hit in the thigh as he was pushing the family to safety.
Brooks said he didn’t “initially know” he got shot.
“It felt like a sharp pain,” he said. “But when I tried to move my left leg, I went down. And looked at my hand and noticed there was bleeding. That’s when it got pretty real at that moment.”
Brooks said his “life definitely flashed” before his eyes.
“When I first was hit, that’s when it got very real for me,” he said. “At that moment, I was thinking I can sit here and see what happens or make a bold move and try to go. Thankfully, I made it out okay and Patricia and her kids made it out okay.”
Brook doesn’t regard himself as a hero and believed he “was doing what was the best intentions of the situation.”
“I don’t necessarily consider myself a hero,” he said. “I just feel like there was someone in distress and I’m not the kind of person who would let them be in that situation and me selfishly trying to get myself out of the equation knowing there someone with two kids. All she was doing was trying to protect her two kids. Maybe I would’ve got out, maybe I wouldn’t. but as long as I knew she was OK I was alright.
Patricia Legarreta thanked Brooks for saving her and said it was “comforting knowing someone was willing to help.”
Legarreta’s boyfriend Jamie Rohrs fled the theatre during the chaotic scene. He later proposed to Legarreta at the hospital.
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Watch Jarell Brook’s ABC interview below.