23 Apr 2018

Naked gunman kills four at Waffle House

7:09 am on 23 April 2018

A nude gunman has killed four people at a Waffle House in Nashville in the US state of Tennessee, police say.

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 22: Law enforcement stand outside a Waffle House where four people were killed and two were wounded after a gunman opened fire with an assault weapon on April 22, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo: Jason Davis / Getty Images / AFP

Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said the killer arrived at the store, in the suburb of Antioch, in a pick-up truck.

He shot two people with a semi-automatic rifle outside the restaurant before bursting in about 3.25am local time, killing two more inside.

Four other people were wounded but one - a customer, James Shaw Jnr - wrestled the weapon from the man who then fled the scene on foot. Mr Shaw said he did not feel like a hero because "it feels selfish".

When the firing stopped and the gunman was looking at his weapon, Mr Shaw rushed him, wresting the rifle from his hands and tossing it over the counter.

Grazed by a bullet himself, the 29-year-old said later he had simply seen his chance and taken it, the Tennessean reports.

"I remember I was like 'Dang, I'm basically in a barrel'," he said. "There is no place for me to go."

"I ... remember thinking that he is going to have to work for this kill," he continued. "I had a chance to stop him and thankfully I stopped him."

"I grabbed the gun and kept it down," Mr Shaw said. "He had one hand on it. I pulled it away and threw it over the bar."

This image released by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, shows Travis Reinking, 29, suspected of killing 4 at a Waffle House restaurant on April 22, 2018, in Antioch, Tennessee.

Nashville police identified 29-year-old Travis Reinking as the suspected shooter. Photo: AFP PHOTO / Metropolitan Nashville Police Department

While being treated in hospital for his injury, he was told by a girl that he had saved her life.

"I didn't do it to be hero," Mr Shaw said.

Police were still hunting for the suspect identified as Travis Reinking, 29, from Illinois.

They said he was naked except for a green jacket, which he shed as he left the scene. He was armed with an AR-15 rifle, a weapon commonly used by mass shooters in the US, media reports said.

Similar rifles were used in the Las Vegas shooting last October that killed 58 people, and the Florida school attack in February that left 17 students and staff dead.