UPDATE: The charges against Husayn Nathoo were dropped as of March 2019, according to the Crown lawyer in Calgary. The original story from October 2015 appears below.
CALGARY – Police have charged 24-year-old Husayn Nathoo of Calgary in connection to the discovery of guns hidden at the University of Calgary.
On Aug. 27, electrical contractors working at the U of C found a box containing two unloaded .45 calibre semi-automatic pistols in a false ceiling in the earth sciences building.
Calgary police were notified, which led to a seven-week investigation.
Police said the risk to students and staff at U of C was minimal at the time, while they monitored a person of interest and other individuals.
“Our initial concern was that this was a cache of weapons laid down for a school shooting, so that was our initial assumption, and it was only as a result of our investigation that we were able to eliminate those concerns and satisfy at least myself that this is in relation to the drug trade,” said Staff Sgt. Quinn Jacques.
The person of interest is Nathoo and he was arrested Friday. He’s facing several charges, including two counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm, two counts of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and a weapon obtained by crime.
“This person of interest is from Calgary and was a student at the University of Calgary as recently as 2014,” said Jacques. “Within a short time after the discovery of the weapons, within days we had cultivated a suspect.”
Students on campus were surprised to hear about the incident.
“I thought U of C was supposed to be a really safe campus, it’s kind of like really uncomfortable right now,” said Srihari Belubolu.
“Really scary knowing that a student in university has weapons that are illegal, for the students that’s a risk,” Sarah Anwar.
“It’s kind of unbelievable for me because people coming here….if guns are here all the time, it’s compromising my safety and kind of affects how I feel about coming to school,” said Christopher Joseph.
“The Calgary Police Service has charged one man in relation to the discovery of two unloaded handguns in a ceiling in the Earth Sciences building on August 27, 2015. Due to the ongoing police investigation, the general location of the weapons was not previously disclosed.”
“The University of Calgary would like to commend the Calgary Police Service for conducting a thorough investigation and issuing charges,” said Rick Gysen, Manager of Community Operations, Campus Security. “The University of Calgary worked closely with CPS during the investigation, providing assistance as required. The university did not receive any threats related to these weapons and at no point was the safety of students, faculty or staff jeopardized.”