The University of Central Florida's police chief is defending the response to reports of a "Middle Eastern" suspect in the school's library.

Chief Richard Beary tells the Orlando Sentinel he's sorry the description in the alert sent to students offended people. But he says his dispatchers were putting out the best information they had on Tuesday afternoon.

Campus police saw a social media post describing a woman and received 911 calls about her soon after. A caller said her friend saw a girl acting "panicky" holding a "silver and black" object in the library's main stairwell.

The library was evacuated and the alert about a "Middle Eastern gun man/woman" was sent.

The woman wasn't found.

Beary says he's been criticized in the past for not providing suspects' descriptions.