July 20, 2012 — -- A Colorado teenager who survived the mass shooting at a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora this morning helped keep a young mother, her young child and her 4-month-old infant safe even though he was injured himself.
Jarell Brooks, 19, has been released from Denver General Hospital and is now recovering at home after he suffered a gunshot wound to the leg after James Holmes, once a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Colorado, allegedly set off smoke bombs and opened fire on the unsuspecting audience, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 in the attack. He was quickly apprehended by authorities.
Brooks said that when Holmes started shooting everyone scrambled for the exits. While trying to get out of the theater, he saw a woman, later identified as Patricia Legarreta, struggling to get herself and her two children out. He said he crawled on top of Legarreta in an attempt to push her and the kids out the door but then couldn't get out himself.
Brooks told ABC News that even though he's recovering at home, he is still shaken by the attack.
"At the end of the aisle, I ran into a woman. She yelled, 'My kids!' and I saw she had two young kids with her," he told ABC News. "I made sure they got in the aisle and pushed behind her to make sure she got out of there."
That's when Brooks said he felt a shot to his leg. Brooks said he was shot in the thigh, and fell to the ground.
Patricia Legarreta was also hit.
"We fell together," Brooks said. "I picked myself back up and continued to the back exit door, on one leg."
Legarreta was at the movies with her fiance and their two young children that night when she was shot. Her infant son was on the floor but wasn't hit.
"I was thinking, I have to get this family out, without getting hit myself. I managed to do one," Brooks told ABC News.
Legarreta was hit with buckshot and released from the hospital Friday morning. She is now recovering at home, where she spoke with ABC News and confirmed what happened -- that when she stood up to move her daughter, she was shot, and Brooks hit the ground with her.
She said that she remembered yelling, "I got hit," and Brooks screaming in pain.
The young mother said that after the shooting stopped she didn't really know what happened but was relieved to know that there were young men like Brooks in the world.
"It makes me feel glad because I felt helpless," she said. "Everybody at that moment was going through it, and to know that someone had that mindset, it makes me feel happy to know that in times of trial, there are good people out there."