June 27, 2008 — -- A Florida man died Tuesday after taking more than two dozen shots of cherry vodka within a half hour, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's office.
"We have witnesses that have described the victim as taking anywhere from 23 to 25 shots in 30 minutes," Hillsborough County Sheriff's spokesman J.D. Callaway told ABCNEWS.com.
Eric Morris, 26, was allegedly taking part in a drinking game with another patron at an adult nightclub, Angels Show Bar, in Seffner, Fla., just hours before he died, according to police.
"Apparently [other bar patrons] were describing the shots as 'cherry bombs,'" said Callaway, referring to a shot of liquor that is typically made by combining cherry-flavored vodka with Red Bull, a popular energy drink.
While Morris' drinking buddy, who police declined to identify, stopped playing the game after a few shots, Morris kept going.
"Witnesses told us that the bartender kept setting up glasses of shots for [Morris] and then for whatever reason decided at shot glass 24 or 25 that she wasn't going to serve him anymore," Callaway said.
The manager at Angels Show Bar reached by ABCNEWS.com declined to comment until a full autopsy had been performed.
Moments after being refused more alcohol, Morris staggered away from the bar where he had been drinking and collapsed, according to police.
After failed attempts to resuscitate the 6-foot-4, 210 pound man, patrons called 911 and Morris was transported to a local hospital where he died at around 7 p.m., just two hours after police estimate the partying began.
Callaway told ABCNEWS.com that Morris had at one time been employed by the bar as a bouncer, a job his sister, Jacqui Morris, told a local newspaper was his way of getting back on his feet after a rough couple of months.
Morris had spent seven months in jail on theft and burglary charges, according to the Florida Department of Corrections records obtained by ABCNEWS.com.
Jacqui Morris told the St. Petersburg Times that she thinks her brother kept taking shots to prove his endurance — a quality coveted in their family, she said.
"It's just because we had to be tough," Jacqui Morris, 27, told the newspaper. "We were raised to be tough."
And while police say there is no legal limit to how much liquor a bar can serve a patron, Morris' sister is certain he was overserved.
"They should have cut him off after the first five," she said.
Eric Morris' adoptive mother, Vicki Morris, told ABCNEWS.com that her son, who she adopted when he was 10, was a "very sweet boy."
"He was a great kid," she said, in tears.