RICHMOND — A Richmond man shot and killed his longtime girlfriend before shooting and killing himself late Friday night or early Saturday morning, police said.

Maine State Police spokesman Steve McCausland said in a Monday news release that Niomi Mello, 37, was shot in the head with a 9 mm handgun by her longtime boyfriend, Kirk Alexander Jr., 46. Alexander used the same gun to shoot himself in the head.

McCausland described the killings as a domestic-violence homicide. It’s the ninth domestic-violence slaying committed in Maine this year, he said.

On Monday, the crime scene tape had been removed from the white mobile home at 7 Post Road, and the neighborhood was quiet. There were few signs of the shooting.

The bodies of Mello and Alexander were found in the kitchen of their home by Mello’s 11-year-old son late Saturday morning after he woke up. He ran to a nearby convenience store to seek help. The boy is staying with his father.

McCausland said the gun was not silenced or muffled.

As far as he is aware, McCausland said, state police had not been sent to the address before Saturday, and they were reviewing what calls the Richmond police might have responded to at the Post Road home.

Annually, he said, about half the killings that are committed in Maine are the result of domestic violence, and 2018 will be consistent with that.

Friends and relatives of Mello expressed their shock and grief on social media after Maine State Police issued a news release identifying Mello and Alexander.

On Sunday, Mello’s sister Krystal told the Portland Press Herald that Niomi had been a victim of domestic violence.

“It was an unhealthy relationship and unstable,” she said of her sister’s relationship with Alexander. “She was very outgoing, full of life, always trying to do her best,”

In addition to her son, Mello also had a 16-year old daughter.

Mello’s sister has set up a gofundme page to raise money for the support of Mello’s children, according to a friend.

Alexander’s father, Kirk Alexander Sr., told the Press Herald that his son was a self-employed sea worm digger and was the father of two teenage children.

Detectives from the Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit interviewed neighbors and spoke with relatives Saturday afternoon.

Staff writer Jessica Lowell contributed to this report.

Sam Shepherd — 621-5666

[email protected]

Twitter: @SamShepME

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