BELTSVILLE, Md. - An Army veteran found himself without a job doing something he said was instinctual. Joe Morici tried to stop two shoplifters from running from the Maryland CVS store he managed, but he was fired for doing just that.
Morici spent seven years in the Army, including a tour of duty in Afghanistan. After being fired from his management job at a CVS store in Beltsville, Md., he tells FOX 5 he's not sure what he will do next.
It all happened last Friday, when two men came into the CVS store and ran to the pharmacy area. They jumped the counter and told the pharmacist to open the safe.
"My main concern just everyone's safety in the building," Morici said. "I reacted out of instinct."
Morici says he immediately ran downstairs and told the cashiers to call 911 because the store was being robbed. Then, he confronted the two men, who were trying to leave the store after stealing prescription drugs. He says one of them was carrying a screwdriver. As he passed them in an aisle, Morici says one of the men tried to hit him with it, but he blocked it.
After meeting the two suspects at the front door, which didn't open, a struggle ensued, and Morici says he disarmed of the screwdriver.
The two suspects ended up getting away, and Morici's boss arrived a short time later. He had bad news. Morici says his boss told him his employment was being terminated as a result of his actions.
FOX 5 reached out to CVS for comment. In a statement, a CVS spokesman said the following:
"In the unfortunate event of a robbery at one of our stores, the safety and well-being of our customers and employees is always our highest priority. We do not comment on specific security procedures or policies as we do not want to undermine them."
Morici moved to the area just for the purpose of managing the store, and says now, he isn't sure what to do.
"It's not a good feeling," Morici told FOX 5. "I've never been let go from a position-- especially something like that."
Though he's feeling down after losing his job, Morici says he's already started hunting for another one. In fact, when police came to investigate, he says he asked if they were hiring. He tells us he's already applied for a position with the Prince George's County Police Department.