TEMPLE — The deaths of a Temple couple has been ruled a murder-suicide by the Medical Examiner’s Office, the Maine State Police said Wednesday.

Autopsies on Thomas Masse, 60, and his wife, Michelle Masse, 59, showed both died from a single gunshot wound to the head. Investigators said Masse shot his wife and then shot himself, a statement from Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said.

Her body was found in the bathtub; his in a living room chair with a handgun by his side, McCausland said.

Police said they were called to the home at 214 Temple Road after Thomas Masse called the Franklin County Regional Communications Center in Farmington at about 5:50 a.m. Tuesday and said he was going to shoot himself.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Bradley Scovil and Farmington Police Officer Kevin Lemay were the first officers on the scene, arriving at the home in the rural town just outside Farmington at about 6 a.m. Scovil called the husband and wife on their cellphones, but didn’t get an answer. Additional calls were made to the home after Maine State Police troopers and other deputies arrived. The state police tactical team and its crisis negotiation team also responded.

Tactical team members found the bodies when they entered the home at about 12:30 p.m.


Thomas Masse worked at Collins Enterprises on Route 2 in Wilton. Michelle Masse worked at the Colonial Valley Motel on Wilton Road in Farmington.

Area residents were saddened by the loss of life in their community and expressed their condolences for the Masse family.

Cindy Madore, owner of Madore’s Market in West Farmington, considered Thomas Masse a faithful customer, she said Wednesday. The convenience store is the closest one to the town of Temple.

“I always found him to be a pleasant, friendly guy,” she said. “It is such a sad thing to hear. I would never picture this happening. So very sorry for the family and friends.”

Temple resident Jo Josephson didn’t know the Masses, but wondered how such a thing could have happened in a small town where people usually look out for each other.

“I was saddened that it happened in a small town where people usually know what is going on,” Temple resident Jo Josephson said. “Most people I have spoken to did not know the couple. There are so many services out there to help people during difficult times.”

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