To honor Nathan, to work to prevent the circumstances that led to his death and to promote the well-being of children and families in the Portland, Oregon area.
Nathan Thomas was a 12-year-old boy who tragically died in January 1992. He was taken hostage by an intruder in his home in Portland, Oregon, and was accidentally killed when police tried to rescue him. Nathan's family, the Portland Police Bureau and the Portland community were all traumatized by this tragedy.
Nathan’s parents wrote the following statement, published in The Oregonian, one week after his death.
This tragedy transcends neighborhood boundaries and differences. Every child lost through drugs, poverty or violence is a loss to our whole community. We need to take better care of our children, to recognize children in need and make sure they get the assistance they require. Security is not found in weapons and fortresses, but in holding all members of our community close to our hearts. We need to help each other.
We hope in the weeks to come, when the story of Nathan’s life and death are gone from the headlines, that we will all remember the sadness our community felt and continue to work to see that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again anywhere in Portland.
The Nathan McMurry Thomas Fund was founded to honor Nathan, to work to prevent the circumstances that led to his death and to promote the well-being of children and families in the Portland area.