THE gunman who killed two people and wounded five others at a yoga studio in Florida before killing himself has been named as Scott Paul Beierle.

Tallahassee police chief Michael DeLeo told reporters that the man shot six people and pistol-whipped another after walking into the studio, which is part of a small shopping centre, on Friday evening.

READ MORE: Parkland shooting survivors head to controversial Edinburgh conference

The two people who were killed were named as Nancy Van Vessem, 61, and Maura Binkley, 21.

Dr Van Vessem was served as chief medical director for Capital Health Plan.

The company paid tribute in a statement: “As CHP’s longtime chief medical director, Nancy has been a guiding, visionary force in our daily work to serve the wellness and health care needs of thousands of families in this community.

“Her dedication, caring, leadership, humanity, and experience made her one of the most respected, inspiring, and accomplished medical professionals in the state and country.

“Our hearts are filled with sorrow and prayers for her family. We all have been so blessed to have Nancy in our lives.”

Florida State University president John Thrasher said Van Vessem and Binkley had links with the university.

“To lose one of our students and one of our faculty members in this tragic and violent way is just devastating to the Florida State University family.

“We feel this loss profoundly and we send our deepest sympathies to Maura’s and Nancy’s loved ones while we pray for the recovery of those who were injured,” Thrasher said in a statement.

DeLeo said the gunman acted alone and authorities are investigating motives. He declined to say what kind of weapon was used.

Court records show Beierle was charged by police with battery in 2016 after he slapped and grabbed a woman’s buttocks at an apartment complex pool.

The charges were eventually dismissed after Beierle followed the conditions of a deferred prosecution agreement.

Beierle was also charged with battery in 2012 for grabbing women’s buttocks in a Florida State University campus dining hall.

“We’re all very saddened and shocked by the events that occurred, but it’s important that people understand that there is no immediate threat outside of what has already occurred this evening,” DeLeo said.

City commissioner Scott Maddox had been on the scene. He said on Facebook: “In my public service career I have had to be on some bad scenes. This is the worst. Please pray.”