By Amanda Kim Stairrett
Fort Hood Herald
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was charged with 13 specifications of premeditated murder Thursday in the Nov. 5 shooting deaths of 12 soldiers and one civilian at Fort Hood's Soldiers Readiness Processing Center.
Those are initial charges; others might be added subject to the ongoing investigations, said Chris Grey, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division spokesman.
The referral of charges is the first step in the military court system, he added; they are merely an accusation. Hasan is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Hasan is under pre-trial restriction while receiving medical care, Grey said.
Grey addressed speculation surrounding the investigation, saying Hasan was not at the Soldier Readiness Processing Center for any scheduled appointments or command-directed activity.
Investigators are looking at every possible angle in the case, Grey said, and officials still believe there was only one gunman at the scene "involved in the actual shootings on Nov. 5."
Activities at Fort Hood are getting back to normal, but Col. (promotable) John Rossi, Fort Hood deputy commander for fires, stressed officials are doing so "with the utmost respect for our families."
"As you would never want to minimize the enormity of their sacrifices," he added.
Units and departments, including Soldier Readiness Processing, will responsibly and respectfully resume normal mission and training activities, Rossi said; safety remains at the forefront.
Behavioral health professionals continue to provide care at Fort Hood in response to the shooting, and more than 100 have augmented the post's usual staff.
Those include critical incident management teams, unit ministry teams and Family and Military Life Consultants who have made contact with about 3,000 people, Rossi said.
All of those wounded and others at the center Nov. 5 have received critical incident stress debriefs.
"Our goal is to ensure all who require or desire help get it," Rossi said. "We are guarding against any premature determination that all is OK."
This is not just a push from medical officials at Fort Hood. Unit commanders and leaders are actively engaged in the process, Rossi said.
"Gen. (George) Casey (Jr.) called this event a kick in the gut, which is so appropriate," Rossi said. "But I will tell you at this time, Fort Hood has gotten its breath back and we continue to move forward."
Contact Amanda Kim Stairrett at email@example.com or (254) 501-7547.