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Temple shootings ruled murder-suicide

Members of the Maine State Police tactical team on the Temple Road Tuesday afternoon. Police say that two individuals were killed as a result of the murder-suicide. (Photo by Amber Kapiloff)

TEMPLE - The State Medical Examiner's Office has declared the death of a local couple Tuesday the result of a murder-suicide.

According to Stephen McCausland, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety, autopsies have indicated that both Thomas Masse, 60, and Michelle Masse, 59, died as a result of a single gunshot wound to the head. The Masses, husband and wife, both worked within the community: Thomas Masse worked at Collins Enterprises in Wilton, while Michelle Masse worked at the Colonial Valley Motel in Farmington.

According to information released by McCausland on Wednesday, the incident began Tuesday at approximately 5:50 a.m. when Thomas Masse called 9-1-1 and told Franklin County dispatchers that he intended to shoot himself. Police were immediately dispatched to the Masse residence at 214 Temple Road, the first arriving units included Franklin County Sheriff's Officer Deputy Bradley Scovil and Farmington Police Department Officer Kevin Lemay. They arrived at roughly 6 a.m.

Scovil tried to contact the Masses using cell phone numbers but had no success. Additional attempts to communicate were made as more FCSO and Maine State Police officers arrived. The state police tactical team and negotiators arrived by mid-morning and were similarly unsuccessful. Temple Fire Department assisted by blocking the Temple Road to most through traffic for several hours.

At 12:30 p.m., tactical team members entered the ranch-styled home and discovered both Masses deceased with gunshot wounds to the head. Michelle Masse was found in the bathtub, while Thomas Masse was located in a chair in the living room. A handgun was found beside Thomas Masse.

"Investigators say [Thomas] Masse shot his wife, and then shot himself," McCausland wrote.

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9 Responses »

  1. So sad condolences to the family at this tragic time.

  2. I can't imagine the terror that woman was going through nor the internal pain he must have been going through.

  3. I can’t believe the two officers that arrived at 6am didn’t blow the door in and attempt to rescue one or both of them. Instead they sat outside and waited until 1230 before entering. A person doesn’t call saying they are going to kill themselves if they aren’t asking for help. Why didn’t the officers enter the house at 6am? Not saying anything would be different but at least they tried. I truly question why we have police. I think it is for a different reason then protect and serve. The only thing they serve is tickets. Just saying. This is a sad story.

  4. I knew Michelle for several years. She was such a sweet and gentle soul. She did not deserve to die like that. My thoughts are with the family as they grieve during this time. Such a tragedy.

  5. To Wilton Resident...I think you should take the Citizens Police Academy. You can learn why the officers do what they do. You can ask any question you want and they are very open with their response. I would highly recommend anyone that questions the how's and why's of law enforcement to take this class. I took it and I loved it. Be informed before you make a judgement.

  6. Wilton Resident, what if the police had broken the door down and been shot as they entered, that would not have been better in any way. Unfortunately the couple were probably already both deceased when the officers arrived on scene.
    This is a horrible tragedy and my heart goes out to family and friends left behind as they grieve.

  7. I find it very disturbing that Michelle, a kind and loving lady whom went out of her way to help others, was taken away from her family in such a manner. May her family cherish the memories they have of her. RIP Michelle

  8. Wilton Resident, Are you loopy or something? Did you even read the article? He called at 5:50 am, Deputy Scovil showed up at about 6 am and got no response from the house. At 12:30 pm after no contact, they made entry and found them dead. That means that A) he killed his wife called the cops then shot himself or B) he called the cops then shot his wife and then himself. The reason nobody responded from inside the house to calls was because they were already dead.

  9. Seems like the shooting must have taken place in the 10 minutes that occurred between the call at 5:50 and the police arrival at 6. Otherwise the police would have heard the gunshots.