The deaths of a Temple couple found shot inside their home Tuesday have been ruled a murder suicide, authorities said.

Thomas Masse, 60, shot his wife, Michelle Masse, 59, before turning a handgun on himself, according to Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland.

Both were shot in the head, he said.

The Maine medical examiner’s office in Augusta determined the causes of death after an autopsy was conducted Wednesday.

Temple is a small Franklin County town just west of Farmington.

Around 5:50 a.m. Tuesday, Thomas Masse called the Franklin County dispatch center and said he was going to shoot himself, prompting a Franklin County Sheriff’s Office deputy and a Farmington police officer to go to his Temple Road home around 6 a.m., McCausland said.

Officers made multiple phone calls to try and reach the couple inside the home but were unable to, he said. Around mid-morning, after more deputies and state troopers had arrived, the state police tactical team and crisis negotiators were called to the scene.

Tactical team members eventually entered the home around 12:30 p.m., where they found Michelle Masse’s body in a bathtub, and Thomas Masse’s body in a chair in the living room, a handgun by his side.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.

To reach a suicide prevention hotline, call 888-568-1112 or 800-273-TALK (8255), or visit

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Callie Ferguson

Callie Ferguson is an investigative reporter for the Bangor Daily News. She writes about criminal justice, police and housing.