Shooting Jack Doherty is not the last time that Ivan Korshunov commits cold-blooded murder in front of a child. An even more chilling scene follows President Marshall's killing of terrorist Boris Bazylev in the baggage deck of Air Force One.
Mistakenly believing the President successfully escaped and that the man who has so far killed two of his men is actually a surviving Secret Service agent, Ivan is growing annoyed with his unseen foe continuing to elude and outsmart him. However, they have managed to trap him down in the baggage deck by putting down the cover over the stairs.
Getting an idea, he tells another underling, Sergei Lenski, to go and fetch someone from the conference room and bring them up to the command deck. Grace and Alice, held prisoner there, are shocked when Sergei returns with the inoffensive and friendly press secretary, Melanie Mitchell.
Politely asking her to sit, Ivan suddenly turns quite nasty as he pulls his pistol and holds it against her head. As he does so, he grabs a handheld radio and turns it on, transferring it throughout the plane so that everyone can hear what is about to transpire - the other hostages in the conference room as well as President Marshall down in the baggage deck.
His gun held against Melanie's head, Ivan asks her if she is a nice woman, and whether she is afraid. When she answers yes, Ivan forces her to say into the radio that it is because she has a gun against her head.
Downstairs, Marshall, in the midst of attempting to sabotage Air Force One so it will leak fuel and be forced to land, hears this and stops what he's doing as Ivan announces over the P.A. system he will count to ten. If the "agent" running around downstairs does not surrender to his men, he will shoot Melanie.
Marshall, holding Vladimir Krasin's purloined machine gun, approaches the stairs leading up to the main part of the plane. Sergei and another terrorist, Igor Nevsky, wait to take him prisoner as Ivan begins counting down over the P.A. system as Melanie pleads for her life.
The President is torn.
If he surrenders to save Melanie, then the villains will have him as a hostage and use him as leverage to force Vice President Bennett to ask Russia's President Petrov to release their leader, General Radek. Petrov could potentially lose his political edge, allowing Radek's forces to take over Russia. As Secretary of Defense Walter Dean sufficiently put it, if that happens, then with his armies and his nuclear arsenal, all of central Asia could go to war.
There is also the horrifying possibility that upon getting him, Ivan won't need the other people in the conference room anymore and will kill them.
Or Ivan could just shoot Melanie anyway.
Or all of the above.
Or... Marshall can make the horrible decision to sacrifice Melanie and continue to fight against the terrorists, and dump the fuel to force them to make a landing allowing them to be stopped. In a gut-wrenching and horrifying scene, a visibly distressed and emotional Marshall chooses not to go up the stairs and surrender. On the P.A., Ivan finishes counting.
There is a gunshot and President Marshall flinches as he hears the woman's final dying scream. As a final touch, Sergei and Nevsky slam shut the stairwell cover, trapping Marshall again. Enraged and driven by new resolve, Marshall returns to his plan to dump the fuel.