It happened at a home at 113th and Edbrooke in the Roseland neighborhood on Chicago's Far South Side. The medical examiner has identified the boy as Shaun Brown.
The child was playing in an upstairs apartment when he bumped into a TV stand and the heavy, older model TV fell on top of him. Officials initially said the youngster had a fractured skull and a badly-injured eye.
Rather than wait for paramedics, family members drove him straight to the hospital themselves.
"We heard something fall and my granddaughter went up there to see what it was," said Mozelle Kyles, great grandmother. "By that time, everybody came down hollering and screaming that the television had fallen on top of Shawn."
The child's parents were in the other room at the time.
"He's going crazy, we all going crazy because this was a good child, a good father, God fearing people," said friend Zachary Jackson.
The 32-inch television set has a 19-inch base and was set on a 13-inch wide wooden table, so it was clearly sticking out with a lot of its weight forward. Investigators estimate the TV weighed about 100 pounds.
"I don't know how they moved that TV off the baby ... It took two or three people to move this TV, that's how heavy it was," said neighbor Lolita Moore.
It's the fourth time a television set has fallen on a child in the last four months. Three previous incidents also resulted in fatalities.
"The world do need to know about these old TVs. And it's a lesson to be learned with young parents having children. You are to watch your kids. I don't care what's going on," said Moore.
"It hadn't crossed my mind because I didn't he know they had that big a TV up there. I really didn't," Kyles. "He's an active little fellow so ain't no telling what he did. Ain't no telling what happened."
A spokesman for the Department of Children and Family Services says they have never had any contact with this family. This was the only child living in the home. Police are investigating.