Joe Morici is a seven-year Army veteran, serving with a medevac unit for one year in Afghanistan. After his military service was up, he got a job managing a CVS store in Beltsville, Maryland. He was working one day when two robbers came into the store. They jumped over the pharmacy counter and demanded prescription drugs. Morici reacted instantly, running downstairs and shouting at the cashiers to call 911. He then chased after the two men, who had made off with a stash of prescription drugs. One of whom was carrying a screwdriver. The man tried to hit Morici with the screwdriver, and a customer reported overhearing the man threaten to shoot Morici. “The two kids ran into the door, which was closed now, and Joe got one of them and had him,” the customer said. “The kid, he had said to his partner, ‘Shoot him.’ […] And then Joe said, ‘I’ve been in the military far too long. You don’t have anything.’”
Morici’s military instincts served him well. He was holding one of the shoplifters against the door while the other tried to slash at him with the screwdriver. Morici blocked him, and then disarmed him. But despite Morici’s best efforts, the shoplifters got away. Not long after that, Morici’s boss showed up — and then fired him. He said that he knew he could be fired for his actions, but he couldn’t just stand by and do nothing. “I did seven years in the military; a year overseas and that instinctive behavior is not something you can just turn a switch, and it doesn’t happen anymore. I didn’t act in the way CVS wanted, but I acted in the way that was right, and I still stand by that,” he said.
Still, it hasn’t all been bad news for Morici. Since news broke of him being fired for his heroic actions, he’s received multiple job offers, but he has one specific job in mind already. He’s applied to join the Prince George County Police Department, where he can put his heroism to good use.