A man cleans the sidewalk outside The Drink Exchange on Wharf Street in Portland on Feb. 11, 2022, the morning after Thomas Landry was shot outside the bar. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

A Portland man who was shot on Wharf Street last year after drunkenly swinging a baseball bat is suing the security guard who shot him. 

Thomas Landry, 23, admits he picked a fight on Feb. 10, 2022, with Oni Hall – in front of a Portland police officer – just minutes after Hall threw him out of The Drink Exchange for disorderly conduct, according to a suit filed in Cumberland County Superior Court last week. Landry also acknowledges that he returned to the bar later that night in a ski mask and hit the bar’s window with a bat.

But Landry’s complaint alleges that Hall acted maliciously when he shot him three times with a 9 mm handgun, leaving him with permanent injuries and emotional distress.

Hall, The Lizotte Group – the owners of the now-defunct bar – and the security company that employed Hall are named as defendants in the civil complaint. Landry is seeking an unspecified amount of damages for his physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical expenses, and lost wages, as well as punitive damages.

“From the plaintiff’s perspective, the shooting was unnecessary and unjustified,” said Christopher Causey, Landry’s attorney. “We believe that justice will be done.”

For Hall, who says he acted in self-defense and has not been criminally charged, the lawsuit marks another chapter in a story he’d prefer not to be associated with.


“I want people to go out to the Old Port and have a good time and not have to worry about some of the dangerous stuff that was going on last year,” he said. “I’ve been trying my best to keep people from knowing what happened that night – Maine is a really small town.”

Landry did not answer phone calls or messages asking to discuss the case. Mike Lizotte, the owner of The Lizotte Group, did not answer a message asking about the lawsuit.


Landry had been sober for three months last February when he relapsed, prompted by the news that his mother had received a breast cancer diagnosis, according to his complaint. He alleges Hall and an off-duty security guard kicked him out of The Drink Exchange around 9:30 p.m. “with an excessive amount of force and in a humiliating manner.”

Hall remembers things differently.

Landry was tucked in the corner of the bar with a hoodie on “giving off really creepy vibes,” Hall said. When he told Landry the bar had a policy against patrons wearing hoods – a measure Hall said was intended to make guests feel safer in the face of reports that multiple women were drugged at southern Maine bars – Landry became antagonistic and increasingly incoherent. 


Hall and another security guard finally shoved him out the door after Landry threw a drink toward the bar, hitting several customers. 

“We gave him plenty of chances to walk away,” Hall said.

The broken window at The Drink Exchange seen the morning after Thomas Landry admittedly swung a baseball bat at the window three or four times. Derek DavisStaff Photographer

He said Landry searched his waistband, as if looking for a gun, and then threatened to return to the bar with a gun and shoot Hall. That prompted a brawl between the three men that migrated down Wharf Street. That’s when a police officer showed up, Hall said.

Hall and Landry agree that in the middle of talking with the officer, Landry again challenged the men to a fight.

Police arrested Landry for disorderly conduct and other misdemeanor charges and took him to the police station. Hall returned to work, but he soon got a message from his boss: police had released Landry due to intake restrictions at the Cumberland County Jail – be on the lookout in case he comes back.



Landry left the police station just before 10:30 p.m., according to court records. An hour later, he was back outside The Drink Exchange wearing a ski mask and carrying a baseball bat.

The complaint says Landry was “not thinking clearly” when he swung the bat three or four times against the bar’s window with the intent to shatter it. It was then, according to the plaintiff’s account, that Hall pulled out his handgun and shot Landry three times. No one else was injured.

The wounds required multiple surgeries, have left Landry “permanently injured” and with bullet fragments lodged in his body, the complaint states. Hall’s actions, the lawsuit argues, were negligent and put members of the public at risk.

But Hall said Landry intended to do more than destroy property. He says he fired his weapon, which he said he carries – at a police officer’s suggestion – when working alone, only after Landry swung the bat at him.

“A baseball bat can deform your head; that’s a deadly weapon,” Hall said. “I don’t understand how it was not self-defense.”

A Portland police spokesperson declined Wednesday to comment on the case because the criminal charges against Landry, which include criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, are still pending.

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