A Colorado teen turned into a real-life superhero Friday night after a gunman opened fire in a packed movie theater.
Jarell Brooks, 19, was prepared to flee the Aurora theater when a shooter started attacking cinemagoers excited to see the midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises,” ABC News reports. When Brooks saw Patricia Legarreta struggling to save her babies, he immediately stopped in his tracks.
“She yelled, 'My kids!,'" Brooks told the news outlet of the horrifying moment he realized Legarreta and her two young daughters were in danger. "I made sure they got in the aisle and pushed behind her to make sure she got out of there."
Brooks braved against the heavily-armed shooter, suspected to be James Holmes -- a 24-year-old University of Colorado-Denver PhD student, the Associated Press reports. A total of 12 people were killed, and nearly 60 were injured, in what is the worst mass U.S. shooting to date since the attack at Fort Hood, Texas in November 2009.
Though Brooks eventually brought the young family to safety, they didn’t all escape harm. Both the 19-year-old and Legarreta were shot and are recovering at home, a fate that is nothing short of a miracle for the mother of two.
"Everybody at that moment was going through it," Legarreta told the ABC News, "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."