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Tennessee - A man who was naked but for a green jacket shot and killed three people and wounded four others at a Waffle House restaurant near Nashville, Tennessee early Sunday, police said.

The gunman was armed with what was described as an AR-15 style assault rifle walked into the restaurant in Antioch, in suburban Nashville, shortly before 3:30 a.m. (0830 GMT).

The man "opened fire," on the patrons, the Metro Nashville Police said in a statement on Twitter.

"A patron wrestled away the gunman's rifle," the statement said.

Police told CNN the man shed his jacket before fleeing on foot.

At least one of the wounded was in critical condition at Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, local media said.

Police were searching for the man early Sunday and it was unclear if he was armed with another weapon. Local media reported that a second shooting nearby might be connected to this incident. The public was cautioned that the man is to be considered still armed and extremely dangerous.