GREENFIELD, IN (WISH/CNN) - An Indiana man, who worked at CVS for five years, was fired after he and his coworker tackled a would-be robber, a response that the company says violated its policies.
Zac Phillips is still trying to process everything that has happened to him in less than two weeks after he says the choice he made to fight back against a robber cost him his job.
"You really don't have time to think in these situations. It happened in a flash,” Phillips said.
The November robbery attempt began in the back of the store by the pharmacy.
"[He] showed my pharmacist a note, saying, 'This is a pharmacy robbery,'" Phillips said.
The pharmacist, whom Phillips says he considers a friend, walked the robber to the front of the store, where Phillips was working.
Five years ago, someone else robbed the CVS when Phillips was there. The suspect punched Phillips in the face and hit him with a bottle of laundry soap.
So, Phillips says when the recent robber put his hands on the pharmacist, he just reacted.
“I didn't know what was going to happen from that point, but I wasn't going to let him hurt my pharmacist," Phillips said.
The two store employees tackled the robber, later identified as 22-year-old Jagger Maupin. Police arrested the suspect, and he faces several charges, including pharmacy robbery.
But a few days after the incident, CVS fired Phillips and the pharmacist involved. The company said “by initiating physical confrontation,” the employees broke store policy.
But Phillips maintains that despite policy, his actions could have saved lives.
“When you have a half-second to think about something, you don't think about policy; you think about your life, your friend's life, who this guy might endanger if he had gotten drugs,” Phillips said. "People are human; they react to things, especially if you see somebody going after somebody you consider a friend. Your instinct is to protect them.”
In a statement, CVS said customer and employee safety is their highest priority, and they have strict security protocols in place to make sure employee actions do not put their own safety or anyone else’s in jeopardy.