Jeremiah Buckner, aka Ekoe Alexanda from Linkin’ Bridge, identified as victim of Esquire Alley shooting

Jeremiah Buckner, aka Ekoe Alexanda, was identified as the victim of the Tuesday afternoon...
Jeremiah Buckner, aka Ekoe Alexanda, was identified as the victim of the Tuesday afternoon homicide on Esquire Alley.(Courtesy: Marty Pearl)
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 5:50 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Louisville music artist was identified as the victim of a Tuesday afternoon shooting in the Russell neighborhood.

Jeremiah Buckner, 42, better known by his stage name Ekoe Alexanda was shot and killed on Esquire Alley and Roy Wilkins Avenue Tuesday.

Buckner was one of the four founding members of the group Linkin’ Bridge, which rose to fame after advancing to the finals of America’s Got Talent.

WAVE News sat down with the other three founding members Wednesday afternoon, Montre Davis, Shon “China” Lacy and “Big” Rome Kimbrough.

They said they found out about Ekoe’s death early Wednesday and are still having a hard time processing the news.

“We cried together,” Lacy said. “We triumphed together. We achieved some things that were impossible at our age together.”

“When the creator put us together it was powerful enough to be heard all over the world,” Kimbrough said. “It’s almost like a miracle. You know what I mean? Like, nobody...I didn’t see it coming. So be able to do what we’ve done. I owe it all. I owe it all to Ekoe. I owe it all to Shon and I owe it all to Montre.”

Buckner never went to school for music. Instead, he taught himself to arrange songs.

The other members told WAVE News he had a tireless work ethic and would often agonize over their songs and rehearsals hours after they were over.

“He was a genius,” Davis said. “He could hear things that other people didn’t hear. And even musically, if something wasn’t musically correct, he would move it in such a way that when it moved it was magic. It was just beautiful.”

Buckner left Linkin’ Bridge in 2018, after the group filed a lawsuit against then manager Tom Mabe.

Still, the other members kept in touch with him through the years.

WAVE News reached out to Mabe, who said in a statement:

“After the group and I went our separate ways, Jeremiah aka Ekoe and I remained really close and shot some videos together. I just spoke with him a couple of weeks ago and was going to call him yesterday about a project. Jeremiah was one of the most talented artists I have ever met or worked with.”

The other members of the group said adding to their grief is the confusion over the way Buckner died.

They described him as somebody who hated gun violence and often advocated against it.

“That’s why the name of the group is Linkin’ Bridge,” Kimbrough said. “Is to be that bridge that brings everybody together for one common thing, for love.”

“And he represented that to his death,” Lacy said. “So, whoever shot him, they didn’t win. They didn’t win. He won.”

The news of Buckner’s death has spanned the Louisville community.

In a statement, former Mayor Greg Fischer said:

“Linkin Bridge brings hope, light and passion to our beautiful city. They are a band of brothers that represent unity and love. Ekoe brought tremendous joy to so many. We must honor Ekoe’s passing by rejecting all forms of violence.”

Gary Brewer & the Kentucky Ramblers sent a statement to WAVE News Wednesday afternoon. The group had performed and grown close to the members of Linkin’ Bridge recebntly.

The statement reads:

“We were devastated to hear the news of the untimely passing of such a wonderful and talented young vocalist & arranger. Our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to his family and friends. Rest easy & sing on!”

Louisville Metro Police currently do have any suspects identified in Buckner’s case.