Investigators said Burton suffered a head injury during a brawl at the Hookah House in Smithfield around 2 a.m. Saturday.
Burton was an off-duty bouncer who tried to break up the fight that escalated from two to at least 60 people.
When the crowd cleared, Burton was found lying in the parking lot.
Family members told ABC11 he suffered a major blow to the head when he hit the cement. They said his tongue went into the back of his throat and cut off oxygen, leading to brain damage.
The investigation into what happened continues.
A fund has been set up to help the family with burial expenses.
The Luther Gerald Burton Jr. memorial fund:
Can mail check to:
503 Raleigh Street
Newton Grove, NC 28366
Phone: (910) 594-1004
Fax: (910) 594-0015
208 West Main St.
Benson, NC 27504
Phone: (919) 894-3123
Fax: (919) 894-7394